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‘Australian Privacy Principles’, has an immediate impact on internet security, business and government.

How do you select the right anti-spam solution product at the right price for your organisation's environment? Here are the 10 questions your IT Manager should ask before they commit to any anti-spam solution products:

An anti‐spam solution is one of the most important security products you can buy to protect both your network and your company’s productivity. There are a lot of anti‐spam products on the market. How do you select the right anti-spam solution product at the right price for your organisation's environment?

The new upcoming privacy legislation, ‘Australian Privacy Principles’, has an immediate impact on internet security, business and government. Scheduled to be implemented from 12 March 2014, the legislation promises to be the biggest change in privacy laws in the last 25 years.

Under this new information privacy law, organisations are obligated to adopt practices and systems that will protect any personal data that they hold, which will make internet security a critical component of any organisation’s strategy. The incentive to ensure these obligations are met is essential as the penalties to non-compliant organisations will be severe ranging up to $1.7 million.

Here are the 10 questions your IT Manager should ask before they commit to any anti-spam solution products:

1. Is it “affordable” or just “cheap”?

One way manufacturers cut costs is to use extremely cheap components in their appliances, resulting in a high percentage of DOA and defects on arrival, as well as a high failure rate in the field. Another way they make prices look low is to showcase the low‐end models that offer only limited functionality – in reality you’ll have to buy several appliances to do the work, meaning double or triple the cost.

2. What’s the real TCO?

The other question to ask about price is what is the total cost of ownership. If your anti‐spam solution requires ongoing management and attention, it means higher costs through the life of the appliance. If the vendor does not offer boxes that are designed to be centrally administered, you’ll spend even more time on spam management instead of other critical IT business cases you’ll also need to buy a completely separate appliance for administration of inbound and outbound email traffic, in addition to a separate module for reporting.

There are anti-spam solution appliances that provide bi‐directional email protection on a single, easy‐to‐use platform, with unified administration, policy management and reporting – reducing the costs and administrative burdens incurred, even when managing multiple appliances in a cluster.

3. Can I buy it from my trusted reseller, or do I have to order it over the phone using a credit card?

Some SMB anti‐spam solution vendors try to sell both direct to the customer and through resellers, resulting in a poorly organized reseller network. This means customers are forced to rely on the corporation for pre‐ and post‐purchase support over the phone rather than face to face, even if they are in a completely different geography or time zone. There are products that are sold by certain global group of highly trained and dedicated resellers, many of whom offer first line support and know your environment and implementation.

4. My company is growing. Will this appliance be able to keep up?

Many anti‐spam solutions are designed to handle only small volumes of users and traffic. Their mail processing systems can’t handle the high‐volume mail loads of an organization with thousands of users or those with significant throughput environments.

There are anti-spam solution that are designed to handle high volumes of traffic without slowing your network down because of its next‐generation reputation service which blocks over 98% of unwanted spam at the perimeter & frees your network to process legitimate email traffic. And, if your company really does outgrow your current solution, you can easily and economically take advantage of one of our upcoming promotions below.

5. How easy is it to set this product up?

Some anti‐spam vendors claim their products can be up and running in 15 minutes and require no IT expertise. But installation is usually not as simple as they claim, and many have no install wizard available for system setup. Meanwhile, some products come with an easy to use Quick Start Set‐Up Guide (in 7 languages) and extensive product set‐up help. Some products include an easy‐to‐use, intuitive web‐based interface.


6. What kind of support is available once I have this thing up and running?

Buyers should be careful to select products that offer solid, well‐trained, 24/7 tech support for their mission‐critical security products. Some support can be lacking of in depth technical knowledge and users have reported that they rely on user forums for most of their product support. Some employs a group of highly trained support specialists, available 24/7, to support their products and help their customers. In addition, some may offer comprehensive product guides and an online knowledge base available to you from anywhere, anytime you need it to help you set up, run and troubleshoot your appliance and services.

7. How many appliances will I have to buy to get complete protection?

Most solutions are sold by functionality and the SMB models in most product lines have substantially less capability. Important features such as LDAP access, end user controls, and on‐box spam quarantines are not available on other SMB solutions, forcing you to move up to more expensive systems just to get the basic functionality your business needs.
Some offers models with increasing capacity and functions to meet the needs of businesses from 500 to 10,000 and more users.

8. Does it provide automatic, up‐to‐the‐minute security?

Will your security solution need constant fine tuning? Or can you set it and forget it? If it provides a means for automated and constant self‐updating, so that it is always aware of the latest threats, you’ll get better security and reduce your administration costs. Many anti‐spam solutions on the market rely on a 1st generation (at best) reputation service, which in turn depends on RBLs (real‐time block lists) that provide a simple yes/no result for legitimacy of an email based on sender IP history, acting similar to a credit bureau which makes decisions based on history.

But the RBLs are not updated quickly enough to keep up with the increasing volume and purveyors of spam. Depending on how aggressively you set your spam threshold, with a simple RBL, you’ll either get a low catch rate or a high false positive rate. If your spam solution requires you to constantly adjust and manually add new scanning rules to catch spam (because the engine doesn’t), you’ll further increase false positive rates.

There are some products that leverages Reputation Authority, a next‐generation cloud‐based reputation service processing real‐time global intelligence to reject threats at the connection level. Reputation‐Authority (included at no extra cost) is a powerful first line of defense that blocks over 98% of spam and threats before they enter the network, allowing you to use your processing power for mission‐critical email messages. Because of its dynamic and intelligent nature, you can trust Reputation Authority to always be up to date, and not have to worry about constant black and white listing to keep it running.

9. Is open source the right solution for your security?

When security vendors base their products on open source technology, they are putting your network at risk. Spammers are motivated, highly capable people with a monetary incentive to engineer their way around your security barricades. They can reverse‐engineer open source security technology in order to bypass its detection of spam and threats, making it more open to hacking than proprietary solutions.

Some products have defense‐in‐depth protection is built on its proprietary, never breached, 15+ year proven technology. Proprietary means “private” and that means hackers have a harder time cracking proprietary code, usually opting for an easier target.

10. What features should I look for when selecting an anti‐spam vendor?

Will your anti‐spam solution allow you to adjust your spam settings for your unique needs? Some vendors list features like attachment stripping, footer stamping, and body and header keyword search and market them as highly effective spam detection tools. In reality, however, those spam detection offerings do not allow you to set up even simple logic in filters to fine tune your spam settings or the ability to combine multiple actions on messages, resulting in legitimate messages being blocked.

Will your anti‐spam solution protect against inbound threats and outbound data loss by scanning attachments? There are anti-spam solutions that include an Attachment Content Scanning feature, eliminating security gaps for inbound threats and outbound data loss as well.


Here’s a short list of features and functions that should be part of your IT Manager's checklist when you are thinking of buying your anti-spam solution for your organisation to comply with the new Australian Privacy Principles (APP):

Threat Protection
Next‐generation Reputation Services
Threat Outbreak Protection
Spam Dictionaries
Pattern‐based Message Filters
Message Quarantine
Inbound Attachment Control

Data Loss Prevention
Pattern‐based Content Rules
Compliance Dictionaries
Objectionable‐Content Filtering
Outbound Attachment Control
Outbound Content & Attachment Scanning
Document Fingerprinting and Data Classification
TLS Encryption
Message Level Encryption
Management & Reporting
On‐box Reporting
Messaging Logs
Customizable Granular Policies
Customizable Granular Reports
Centralized Management

Message Redundancy
Geographical Redundancy
Queue Replication
On‐Demand Clustering

Cost is not the only consideration when you are comparing anti‐spam solutions – total cost of ownership, support, ease of set up, next generation security, management/ reporting tools and a rich feature set are just as important. Before you buy, compare products to find the best fit and price for your needs.

For more information about WatchGuard’s industry leading XCS Series email security appliances, please contact LogicalTech. For all Media Inquiries please contact Cassidy Poon, National Marketing Manager for LogicalTech. We are one of the leading & trusted Professional Partner with WatchGuard Technologies in Australia. LogicalTech confirms that all contact information provided will be treated confidentially and will only be used to contact you regarding this enquiry.