Antivirus company Trend Micro is adding spam protection to its security offerings, licensing an antispam engine from Postini Inc. for use by its corporate customers.
The engine, which performs heuristic analyses of spam message contents and attributes, is capable of identifying spam messages even if they have been customized or have never been seen elsewhere on the Internet, according to an announcement Tuesday from Postini.
A spokesman for Trend Micro confirmed that the company entered into a relationship with Postini in which the Tokyo-based antivirus vendor will license the antispam engine. The spokesman declined to offer further comments on how the technology would be tied to Trend's other products and services.
"The details are still in development and we hope to communicate them in the near future," said Mike Sweeny, U.S. business unit public relations director at Trend Micro.
Trend Micro will license the Postini engine to its corporate customers as a software application that can run behind a firewall, according to Postini. As an alternative, corporate customers can contract directly with Postini, using that company's existing outsourced e-mail filtering services.
While Trend Micro customers will get the benefit of Postini's antispam technology and frequent updates to the engine's scanning heuristics, they will not get the full range of services offered to Postini's managed service customers, according to Doug McLean, vice president of marketing at Postini.
Among the services that will not be available to Trend Micro customers who deploy the antispam engine on their network are protections against hacker attacks based on SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), e-mail management features, load balancing and disaster recovery services for messaging servers, McLean said.
The news from Postini comes as other leading antivirus software and service vendors are responding to the increased attention to the problem of spam messages by adding spam blocking capabilities to their enterprise products and services.
On Monday, Network Associates Inc. (NAI) announced that it is buying Deersoft Inc., makers of the SpamAssassin software. NAI said that it would be rolling the SpamAssassin technology into its McAfee SpamKiller desktop product immediately, with later releases integrating the technology with its GroupShield and WebShield products for enterprise messaging servers and gateways.
As opposed to the NAI's acquisition of Deersoft's desktop software, Trend Micro's deployment of the Postini engine will provide antispam protection at the gateway immediately, building on Trend Micro's already strong presence as a gateway antivirus product, McLean said.
In May, Trend Micro unveiled its Enterprise Protection Strategy for small, medium-size, and large organizations. Through the program, the company offers virus outbreak prevention services, damage assessment and cleanup services for customers who have been attacked, as well as a centralized administration, monitoring and reporting tool.
Customers can sign up for one of a range of support plans, depending on the size and security needs of the organization. In October, Trend Micro also instituted service level agreements for many of its support plans, offering money back to customers that do not receive virus patterns back from the company within an agreed-upon time frame.
Antispam features have not been included in Trend Micro's enterprise product and service offerings so far. The addition of the Postini engine will likely add that option to Trend Micro's enterprise product offerings, though Sweeny declined to comment on how the antispam service might be packaged for customers.
Despite an apparent lack of coordination between Postini and Trend Micro regarding the timing of the antispam announcement, both companies insist that they are working closely with one another to make Postini's technology available to Trend Micro's customers and that relations are good.
Further details on Trend Micro's plans for the Postini antispam engine will be released later this month, or in February, Sweeny said.