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2008 Best Deployment Scenario

 Restoring trust in the communication process with zero false positives


Current Scenario: eMail is the most important business tool, according to surveys by various research groups, and yet it can be crippled by the high volume of spam that is sent today.  The most widely used defense against spam is the “anti-spam filter.”  The problem is that, while trying to block spam from getting to users’ inboxes, filters also block some amount of legitimate email messages.  By creating these “false positives,” anti-spam filters have undermined the integrity of email communications because neither senders nor recipients can be sure that valid messages are being received.

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Tomorrow's Technology Today - eMail Integrity

Tomorrow's Technology Today: The Sendio™ I.C.E. Box Service Appliance is a hardware/software solution that restores email integrity by blocking all spam and unwanted emails with zero “false positive” lost messages.  Unlike anti-spam filters, which scan the contents of a message and try to “guess” whether the message is legitimate, the I.C.E. Box eMail Integrity Services verify that the sender of the message is someone that you actually do want to communicate with.  This focus on sender authentication and reputation, instead of on message content, enables the I.C.E. Box to be completely effective at stopping the “junk” while maintaining legitimate communications.

The I.C.E. Box integrates standards such as Domain Keys and Sender Policy Framework with detailed SMTP protocol checks, company message policy enforcement and Sender Address Verification (SAV) to determine message validity and sender authentication and reputation, instead of scanning the message content.  The basic steps in the process include:

  • Sender System Checking – confirming via DNS that the sender is a legitimate network device
  • Recipient Checking – confirming that the intended recipient exists
  • Sending Server Verification – confirming that the email server sending the message conforms to the SMTP protocol specifications and typical commercial business practices
  • Message-level Policy Enforcement – confirming that the message contains no viruses or other “malware,” does not include any unauthorized attachments, is not too large and is not being sent to too many recipients
  • eMail Authentication Standards – checking for valid DKIM, SPF and other official credentials
  • User-specific Contact List Verification – checking to determine if the authenticated sender is already someone approved for message receipt
  • Sender Address Verification – for previously unknown senders, confirming that the sender is a real person and not an automated email generator

This last step, Sender Address Verification (SAV), is a key component that adds “the human element” into the overall validation process.  SAV requires that previously unknown senders confirm that they are “live” people and not automated spam generating systems by replying to a short email message with two mouse clicks.  This simple step is completely effective at eliminating the spam that is generated by undesirable or even criminal enterprises that want to stay anonymous.

Overall, this process has been proven to be 100% effective at blocking spam and other unwanted email without causing any legitimate messages to be lost.  Other significant benefits of the process and the I.C.E. Box appliance in general include:

  • Language Independence – because the system does not “read” the contents of the message, it is completely effective with email in any language
  • eMail Server Independence – the system can interoperate with any SMTP-compliant email server
  • eMail Server Synchronization -  the system can automatically synchronize with the eMail server via Active Directory or other LDAP-compliant services
  • Consistent Performance – since there is no content scanning, the I.C.E. Box maintains its performance independent of message size or components such as imbedded images
  • Business Growth Protection – a single I.C.E. Box appliance can scale up to tens of thousands of users
  • Minimal Administration – after a typical 1-hour installation and synchronization process, the system does not require any repetitive administrative attention
  • Individual Control – while the system automatically blocks harmful messages (such as those with viruses) and enforces corporate message policy (such as approved attachment types), each email user can specify how they individually wish to manage direct marketing messages, mailing list subscriptions and automated system responses (such as receipts)
  • Bidirectional integrity – the I.C.E. Box provides complete email integrity by fully processing both inbound and outbound message streams

Conclusion: Workers count on email as a tool to conduct business and increase productivity.  With a Sendio I.C.E. Box managing the email flow, 100% of spam and other unwanted email is blocked while all legitimate messages are sent the appropriate Inbox.  This ability for users to trust their communications processes is the definition of email integrity.

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