Interview with Adam N. Bosnian, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Elron Software
by Mirko Zorz - Friday, 14 February 2003.
The content filtering uptake in the market, even in the face of the economic and IT budget woes over the past two years, has continued to grow at a double digit CAGR. The industry, and ESI as a member company, must continue to highlight and raise the visibility of the needs, requirements and benefits of content filtering above and beyond the present day implementations. As an example, much of today's email content filtering implementations focus either on attachment handling or spam detection, both important aspects of email filtering. But few companies have expanded beyond these '1st order' uses into using email content filtering for business critical applications. These '2nd order' uses include:
  • Industry specific content filtering for regulatory compliance (e.g. - HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, SEC et al)
  • Intelligent email and document archiving
  • Business intelligence/email data mining to determine what is occurring in a business on a day-to-day or minute-by-minute basis
  • Protection of confidential information from being sent outside an organization
From the beginning, one of ESI's core advantages in the market was the ability to provide web, email and anti-virus filtering from a single source...something that very few competitors can offer. With the Internet Manager family of solutions, ESI can handle the bulk of any content filtering requirements that a company may have. Furthering this advantage, ESI's long-term strategy is to 'remove the adjective' from spam/email/web/virus content filtering, and provide a one stop, one application offering for all corporate and enterprise accounts.

In addition, ESI is able to be 'delivery-mechanism' agnostic, as we have worked to embed our core content filtering technology and capabilities into our partners' appliance, service and MTA offerings. In this manner, we can provide the best content filtering in the market, in whatever manner an end-user prefers - whether it be as an application directly from ESI or as an appliance, service or MTA add-on through our partners.

You claim that IM Anti-Virus software provides "total virus protection". Is total virus protection possible?

Total virus protection is defined as a product that can prevent the spread of a virus that may infiltrate your network. ESI's Anti-Virus Solution not only provides protection against viruses at the email gateway (SMTP based mail) but it also prevents the spread of viruses internally on sites running Exchange or Lotus Notes. In addition, ESI's Anti-Virus Solution integrates seamlessly with our email content filtering solution, Message Inspector, which can be used as a secondary line of virus defense. The greatest window of vulnerability at the email gateway is immediately after a new borne virus hits the "street," and virus vendors are furiously trying to develop a signature that will address this new virus. Message Inspector allows users to create rules that will block mail based on specific language and/or a specific file attachment(s).

In your opinion, how big of a problem is spam?

Managing spam has become a time-consuming challenge for network administrators, executives and employees alike. IDC research reveals that 1.5 billion spam mailings hit corporate in-boxes in 2001, representing about 20% of all U.S. business email. All the required sending, receiving, responding and deleting is taking its toll on workplace productivity and mail server bandwidth, as well as increasing the risk of legal liability from inappropriate email content. And, with the increased popularity of portable email devices and 24/7 email pagers, the spam problem is likely to increase.

Internet monitoring in the workplace is a common thing. How can a company find an appropriate balance between its interest and employees' privacy?

Elron Software is cognizant of this issue and has always strived to help our customers find a balance between creating a productive work environment and maintaining employee privacy. The first step comes in the form of a comprehensive Internet Usage Policy (IUP), which should be clearly communicated to all employees in written form. Elron Software publishes an Internet Usage Policy guide, which can help organizations formulate a policy that works for them, but companies are also encouraged to consult with their attorneys prior to distributing the policy company-wide.

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