Postini Junk Email Protection

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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It doesn't take much traffic to overwhelm an individual email Inbox. As few as 50 text messages mean, on average, a megabyte of storage space. When the vast majority (75 percent) of those messages are junk mail, virus carriers (one in every 12), or simply offensive, the picture isn't pretty. The consensus average on a typical day of spam for an unprotected network is 250 messages per day per user. If you look at the typical network mail server--configured to handle as many as 50,000 email accounts--it's no wonder that legislation has made its way onto federal and state books.

The 2003 legislation, however ineffective in terms of technology, is a good start to controlling the situation. CAN-SPAM, as the act is known, was enacted "to regulate interstate commerce by imposing limitations and penalties on the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail via the Internet" Less than two years after it passed, the first conviction led to one sentence of nine years and another of a $7,500 fine. The game is no longer free.

Turning to Technology

It's fair to say, however, that all the legislation in the world will not and cannot prevent those who choose to commit illegal acts from doing so. It never has and it never will. The answer to that unfortunate little reality, when it comes to communications, the marketplace, and the Internet, is a comprehensive and intensive security system.

What was first a handful of specialists in email security has multiplied with market demand, but among the leaders are such names as Postini, IronPort, and Verisign. Postini, founded in 1999, is a good example. Service provider to an impressive number of Fortune 500 and other concerns, it processes more than two billion emails per week for more than 4,000 clients worldwide. Client testimonials attest to junk email traffic dropping by upwards of 60% and 70%, with corresponding hikes in productivity and IT resource reliability.

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