Firms promote spam-busting solution

Spam levels are rising in the Middle East at an alarming rate, with companies in the region being hit with double the amount of unsolicited e-mails they were receiving just four months ago.

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By  Peter Branton Published  December 16, 2003

Spam levels are rising in the Middle East at an alarming rate, with companies in the region being hit with double the amount of unsolicited e-mails they were receiving just four months ago.

At least, that's the claim put forward by three companies in the region who are launching a joint campaign to promote their own anti-spamming solutions. Borderware Technologies, Sun Microsystems and Tech Access have pooled their efforts to provide users with an anti-spamming solution and facilities to test it out.

Borderware, an enterprise gateway security company, is providing a solution running on Sun hardware that creates a secure hardware and software bundled 'soft appliance.' This, the company claims, provides true gateway security, allowing the solution to be deployed at the gateway of your network, as opposed to being just another targetable system on your internal network.

As well as raising awareness of the business issues associated with unwanted e-mail overload, the campaign will enable companies to test the solution at Tech Access' Solution Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Sun Authorized iForce Ready Center.

Spam is the result of companies flooding the Internet with multiple copies of the same message-mail, usually a commercial advert, to force their message onto people who would not usually choose to receive it.

"Until now, spam has not been as much of a problem in the Middle East as it has in Europe and the United States, because spammers didn't see the Middle East as a target market. However, in recent months, the level of spam has increased significantly, perhaps fueled by the rising population of people going online in the Middle East," said Dean Bell, regional director, Borderware.

"The situation is only getting worse, as the wider dissemination of e-mail addresses creates a 'snowball' effect, accelerating the spam problem. Part of the impetus behind our shared campaign is to help companies in the region understand how they can safeguard their e-mail systems from unwanted messaging" added Martyn Molnar, solutions architect, Tech Access.

One of the key messages of the joint campaign is to avoid making a distinction between spam and viruses - both are unwanted deliveries that reduce the effectiveness of companies' communication systems - and to remember the importance of developing a strategy for safeguarding your system from both.

Because spam emails are creatively designed to look like something that people would want to read, and sometimes appear to be from a friend or colleague, they are readily opened by employees - which creates the risk of opening the system to viruses.

"Once the message is opened, it is too late. That is why companies require a specific mail firewall that can filter out the harmful material, using much more than content filtering technologies." said Bell.

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