GFI adds Bayesian anti-spam filter to GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP 9

September 04, 2003 - 12:00

GFI adds Bayesian anti-spam filter to GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP 9


GFI today launched GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP 9, its server-based anti-spam tool that now boasts a Bayesian filter, which is able to adapt automatically to the latest spamming techniques and catch a record amount of spam. Current anti-spam techniques are largely static, meaning that it is fairly easy for spammers to evade them simply by tweaking their messages. The GFI MailEssentials Bayesian filter is adaptive: it changes over time and learns spamming techniques, making it much harder to dodge.

Bayesian filtering technology increases spam detection
Bayesian filters are widely acclaimed to be the best way to tackle spam because they use statistical intelligence to analyze the content of the mail. GFI MailEssentials is among the very first products to implement this technology at server level in a reliable and effective manner.  Bayesian filtering detects spam based on message content. Rather than just checking for keywords, GFI's Bayesian filter takes the whole message into consideration.  Bayesian filtering is based on the mathematical principle that most events are dependent and that the probability of an event occurring in the future can be inferred from the previous occurrences of that event – the same concept is used to identify new spam messages based on the content of past spam messages.
In short, Bayesian filtering has the following advantages:

  • Looks at the whole message
  • Adapts itself over time
  • Is sensitive/adapts to the company/user
  • Multilingual and international
  • Uses artificial intelligence
  • Hard to trick.

Bayesian filter learns from outbound mail and new spam
The GFI MailEssentials Bayesian filter can learn from spam identified by the user, as well as by downloading profiles of the latest spam from the GFI site, ensuring that it recognizes the latest spam and spamming techniques. GFI maintains the spam profile database by working with a number of spam collection organizations that continually supply spam samples. This is not a database of spam signatures (a technology that is largely useless), but a database of spam that the Bayesian filter studies and adapts to.

“The Bayesian filter is so good at catching spam because it learns over time. The filter actually improves further the longer you use it. In our tests, after just one month of using GFI MailEssentials 9, we almost completely eliminated spam with a minimal amount of false positives. We believe that GFI MailEssentials 9 is a groundbreaking contribution to the battle against spam,” said Nick Galea, GFI CEO.

For more information about the Bayesian filtering included in GFI MailEssentials 9, please visit http://www.gfi.com/whitepapers/why-bayesian-filtering.pdf.

Sorts mail marked as spam to individual junk mail folders
GFI MailEssentials 9 now also includes the ability to automatically sort mail that has been identified as spam to network users’ junk mail folders. This way, users can review what mail has been marked as spam and ensure that there are no false positives. This feature is a great time-saver for network administrators as they no longer need to liaise with end users about possible false positives.

Server-based anti-spam solution
GFI MailEssentials is a server-based anti-spam solution that installs at the gateway and eliminates the administrative headache presented by client-based anti-spam products. As a result, administrators do not need to deploy anti-spam products on each of the network’s workstations, nor must they conduct time-consuming maintenance of individual updates each time the anti-spam rules need changing.

Automatic whitelist management reduces false positives
GFI MailEssentials 9 automatically maintains a database of whitelisted users. Unlike other products, it does not scan a contact address book (which is rarely up-to-date) or require manual input, but it intelligently scans outbound mail and automatically builds and updates the whitelist – which greatly reduces false positives.

Anti-spam features retained in GFI MailEssentials 9

  • Support for DNS blacklists
  • Fake non-delivery reports (NDRs)
  • Foreign language spam detection
  • Keyword checking
  • Header checking.

Other features
Like its predecessor, in GFI MailEssentials 9 administrators can add a corporate message to all outgoing email; archive all inbound and outbound Internet mail to a database; and create reports on email use such as detailed logs of sent mail, daily statistics and reports per user or by date range.

Freeware version
GFI MailEssentials 9 is also available as a freeware version. The freeware version includes the DNSL blacklist checker and the whitelist management tool as well as one server-level disclaimer, and it can be downloaded for free from the GFI website.

Pricing, specifications & availability
GFI MailEssentials 9 is available from distributors around the world or online at the GFI site. Pricing starts at US$275 for 10 mailboxes. GFI MailEssentials 9 can be purchased in a bundle with GFI MailSecurity, GFI’s email content security product, at pricing starting at US$450 for 10 mailboxes. More information about GFI MailEssentials and a trial version are available at: http://www.gfi.com/mes/.

About GFI
GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. With award-winning technology, an aggressive pricing strategy and a strong focus on small-to-medium sized businesses, GFI is able to satisfy the need for business continuity and productivity encountered by organizations on a global scale. GFI has offices in the US, Malta, UK, Hong Kong and Australia which support more than 200,000 installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with over 10,000 partners worldwide. GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. More information about GFI can be found at http://www.gfi.com.