F4I lets companies filter internet-based email messages & web sites

F4I's web mail filter stops employees using internet email account to bypass corporate e-mail filters

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By  Neil Denslow Published  October 14, 2002

GROWING numbers of Middle Eastern companies are implementing email filtering systems to ensure that employees cannot access inappropriate content in their office. However, the use of web mail sites, such as Hotmail.com, offers a way of bypassing these safeguards, as messages do not pass through the company’s email filters.

UK development company First 4 Internet (F4I) is seeking to help companies plug this hole in their defences, through its unique web mail filtering application. The filter uses F4I’s image content analysis application, which is sophisticated enough to differentiate between a model advertising lingerie and a woman in a compromising position, for instance.

Based on this information, the mail filter decides whether to let the analysed image into the company or not. The software has already been adopted by a number security application vendors, such as SurfControl
F4I is also offering its web filter, which utilises different engines to censor web sites with a high degree of accuracy.

“No one has ever offered a web mail filter before, and no other web filter hits the 95% accuracy achieved by F4I,” says Mathew Gilliat-Smith, managing director, First 4 Internet.

The system works by running any site that an employee wishes to access through five different engines. The first is the ICA, while the second is a text analysis engine, which looks for key words and phrases. These are followed by a contest analysis that cross references the image and text.

The fourth filter picks out the design of the site to check against known design patterns of pornographic sites, before a Hyperlink engine examines links posted on the site.

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