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GFI Mail Essentials and Mail Security Review

by The Review CrewMay 30, 2010

Email Protection Mega Style – GFI Mail Essentials and Mail Security 

Mail protection is a full time job.  We set out to protect our Exchange server from viruses, spam, phishing etc. We wanted an easy solution that is fully integrated and seamless to our users. Enter GFI and their Mail Security and Mail Essentials packages.

There are some immediate benefits I will note.

  1. Installation and upgrade are easy, reliable and seamless.
  2. The integration with exchange is great, no need to go to outside website URLs for users.
  3. Use of the “Junk” mailbox folder is incredibly handy. In fact the users do not have to change the way they use Outlook at all to leverage the GFI solutions.

The SPAM filtering is amazing with this product. All messages that are deemed as spam, but not on a blacklist, are automatically dumped in our users Junk Email folder. This allows them to review in case of the false positive. The product fully supports the DNS blacklists so these bogus emails are automatically refused without ever hitting our mailboxes. When using Public Folders in Exchange,  users can drop SPAM emails into this folder for the system to process right from within outlook. We have seen a 95% drop of SPAM emails in the Inbox.

The load on our server is negligible when processing. There are install option and configurations available for almost any type of Exchange architecture. There is a SMTP type of configuration for those that are not using Microsoft Exchange. Many of the features mentioned above are still available and the results from SPAM filtering and Antivirus protection are the same. This portion is exceptional!

An important part of any software purchase is support. I worked with GFI support on a particularly nasty SPAM issue and considering we have many folks that travel…  I needed some help with configuration. They were very quick to respond to my needs and the solution they provided worked well and the first time. We were very happy with our support experience.

I have copied some of the features for each product here below. Please go to http://www.gfi.com for a full list of the tremendous number of features these two products offer.

Mail Essentials:

Top Features

  • Support for Unicode
  • SpamRazerTM: an additional anti-spam engine boosting capture rate
  • Automatic whitelist management to reduce false positives
  • Multiple anti-spam technologies including Bayesian and IP filtering
  • Eliminates hard to catch NDR, MSNBC and CNN spam
  • Precise real-time dashboard

Other Features

  • FREEWARE version available
  • Server-based anti-spam and anti-phishing
  • Downloads updates to spam profile database
  • Localized into German, Spanish, Italian and Russian
  • Protect your users against the menace of phishing emails
  • Sort spam to users’ junk mail folders
  • List server for newsletter lists and discussion lists
  • Easy tuning of the Bayesian engine via public folders
  • Allow users to whitelist or blacklist via public folders
  • Email header analysis and keyword checking
  • Third party DNS blacklists (DNSBL) checking
  • Support for multiple third party SURBL servers
  • Automatic whitelist management reduces false positives
  • Instant view of emails from new senders
  • Eliminates directory harvesting
  • Reports on spam filtering and email usage
  • Support for SPF – the Sender Policy Framework
  • Set priorities for each anti-spam module
  • Company-wide disclaimer/footer/header text
  • Email monitoring
  • Email archiving to a SQL database
  • Seamless integration with Exchange Server, Lotus Domino and other SMTP servers
  • Support for virtual environments

Mail Security:

Top Features

  • Virus checking with multiple anti-virus scanning engines
  • Scan for trojans and executables
  • Email exploit detection engine
  • Attachment checking
  • Granular user-based email content policies/filtering

Other Features

  • Norman Virus Control & BitDefender virus engines are included
  • Kaspersky, McAfee and AVG virus engines (optional)
  • Automatic removal of HTML scripts
  • Spyware detection
  • Multiply the value of GFI MailSecurityTM with powerful reporting
  • Custom quarantine filters
  • Enable easy quarantine folder monitoring through RSS feeds
  • Web-based configuration enables remote management from any location
  • Approve/reject quarantined email using the moderator client, email client or web-based moderator
  • Searching within quarantined emails
  • Full threat reporting for quarantined emails
  • Support for virtual environments

There are many other GFI products available that will allow you to get and keep control of your environments. We will be reviewing these in a later article set. These products are well worth looking at for protection of your email infrastructure. It’s not too often a tool meets ALL my requirements, well done.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.
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