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4 Features Your Mail Server Anti-Spam Should Include

As spam and unsolicited email traffic is becoming ever more frequent and sophisticated, the admin’s job to protect the company’s networks is becoming tougher. A good anti-spam solution protecting the server is the best approach to stopping spam in its tracks.

The advantages of installing a server-based solution versus a desktop-based one is the convenience of avoiding administrative hassles in installing and configuring the product on client machines and training users to manage and update spam-rules.

Here are some important features to look for in a server-based anti-spam solution:

1. Anti-phishing module:

Some types of malicious emails have evolved into cleverly disguised spoofs and the intention is to steal sensitive corporate information or inject malware in the network. An anti-phishing module in your anti-spam software will detect such emails by, for instance, cross-checking their content with a constantly updated database of known phishing URLs.

Another helpful feature to stop phishing emails is to use a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) which checks whether the email has been sent from a host that is authorized to send emails for the originating domain or not..

2. Multiple anti-spam engines:

With spammers now using a wide array of methods, using one type of spam filtering is not enough to eliminate the problem.

A good mail server-based anti-spam solution should use a combination of spam filters and anti-spam engines in a multi-layered approach to combat spam. This is not just playing safety in numbers but also having a holistic defense against most types of email threats such as email-based DOS attacks, spoofing, phishing, social engineering, malware and others.

For example, apart from standard Bayesian filters it would be advisable to have other modules like directory harvesting, sender policy framework (SPF) and greylisting.

3. DNS Blocklist Support:

Another key feature is support for third-party DNS blocklists such as ‘Spamhaus’ and ‘Spamscoop’.

DNS blocklists or DNS realtime blocklists are a community-based data collection of flagged IP addresses or IP ranges that are known to deliver spam or botnets.

4. Whitelist management to avoid false positives:

The battle against spam can results in some ‘collateral damage’ in the form of false positives or – email messages that are mistakenly flagged as spam. To address this issue, use automatic whitelisting; outgoing mail recipients are automatically added to the whitelist, thus reducing false positives with minimal administrative intervention.

All these features together create a strong line of defense against spam. A server-based anti-spam solution with these four key features can go along way toward reducing the risks that spam poses to the organization.

This guest post was provided by Gilbert Ross on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Learn more about what the right server anti-spam solution for your company should include.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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