Will Commtouch be the Magic Touch?

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 3.09.23 PMWe all hate spam.  That probably goes without saying.

Some estimates out there put junk mail at around 90% of the world’s entire volume of email—yes, that’s right, 9 out of 10!

The good news is that a lot of this junk mail is blocked before ever getting near your inbox.  But even then, in spite of the traditional front-line mechanisms usually in place these days, such as SPF checking and DomainKeys, a decent chunk of potentially dangerous spam still manages to get through (they’re like roaches, my mother would say).

And when I say a decent chunk, I mean levels that often push at our annoyance threshold.

Another piece of good news—at least for our customers—is that Newtek is currently in an all out war with spam.  Just the other month, our VP of Server Operations & Support, Ryan Bishop, wrote a blog post about some interesting testing he and his team performed and the positive changes we implemented as a result.  This included adjustments to default spam settings and the addition of the Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL).  These changes, as expected, have shown significant decreases in the amount of spam getting through.

But there’s always room for improvement, right?  Of course there is, so we’ve tested and even began implementing another, truly exciting layer of spam protection.

Commtouch Premium Antispam

A nice feature of SmarterMail 6.x (which we run our entire shared email segment on) is an add-on licensing system that allows us to purchase third-party services that enhance the functionality of the mail server.  Commtouch antispam is one of these.

The innovating—and certainly interesting—thing about Commtouch’s solution is its unique cloud-based approach to spam deterrence.  Its patented Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technology analyzes, in real time, large volumes of Internet traffic to identify spam outbreaks as soon as they emerge.  And because nearly all spam is sent in massive blasts, the result of this technology is near-instant protection from outbreaks.

A few other bragging points about RPD technology includes:

  • High detection rate (over 97%)
  • Extremely few false positives (less than 1 in 1.5 million reported)
  • Ability to catch any spam type (any language, format, and even image-based messages)

The most promising aspect of this solution, however, is not that it’s necessarily the best antispam system out on the market (which it very well might be, but I’ll let someone else make that argument), but because it complements SmarterMail’s own technologies, architecture, and out-of-the-box antispam features so well.  This solution isn’t an agnostic piece of software that sits on top of the mail server, it’s been completely integrated within SmarterMail and avoids much of the redundancy and/or conflicts some of the other, comparably good solutions out there may have brought to the table.

We’re currently running Commtouch Premium Antispam on a limited number of servers as we continue to maximize its potential within our own, existing configurations.  Stay tuned for more information down the road as we expand this offering.

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3 Responses to “Will Commtouch be the Magic Touch?”

  1. Good!

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  2. Thank goodness! It seems like spam has increased 200% in the past few months! We’re desperate!

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  3. Thank you, thank you.. spam has increased 200% here or more as well.. If I don’t monitor my spam from Friday evening – Monday morning (I’ll have 300-350 messages waiting for me).

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