Best Software - 14 Sep 2004

Spam currently constitutes more than 65 percent of email traffic on the Internet. Vircom estimates that by 2007, more than 85 percent of all email traffic will be spam. With no end in sight to the problem of spam, it's no surprise that an overwhelming number of readers chose Vircom's ModusGate as this year's Best Software winner.

ModusGate is a solution for organizations with an email infrastructure already in place that they don't want to modify. ModusGate installs in front of the email server on any type of network. You can deploy ModusGate in front of or behind your corporate firewall, according to your security requirements. The solution gives systems administrators the option to let the entire network, specified domains, or specified users customize the product's behavior according to need. Powered by Modus3 technology, which takes a multilayered approach to fighting spam, ModusGate ensures that your company maintains the maximum CPU power while the solution combats spam. ModusGate includes antivirus protection from McAfee and Norman Data Defense Systems.

Vircom doesn't stop at developing solutions to fight spam. The company has also created the SpamBuster Team to track, adjust, and improve the performance and accuracy of all Modus antispam solutions. The team spent more than 6 months studying the spam problem by creating thousands of legitimate mailboxes to test and compare various responses to spam. The team learned that spammers acquire email addresses by crawling the Internet, buying addresses from legitimate opt-in lists, using spyware to extract users' address book contents, and tricking users into responding to decoy email messages to validate the user's email address.

The SpamBuster Team also analyzed a sample of 547,685 spam messages originating from the United States during a 6-month period and measured the messages' compliance with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing CAN-SPAM Act. According to Michael Gaudette, Vircom spam expert, "If a business relies on legislation to handle the spam problem, it's pretty much out of luck. From our analysis, we see that less than a hundredth of one percent of spam actually complies completely with the CAN-SPAM Act."

Spam has a tremendous negative effect on business: It increases bandwidth consumption, necessitates added storage space, incurs productivity losses, and creates a potentially hostile environment for employees offended by graphic email messages. The cost of spam to your enterprise is estimated to be $1400 per year per enterprise email user.

2nd Place — Everest
3rd Place — Citrix MetaFrame
Citrix Systems
3rd Place — iHate Spam for Exchange
Sunbelt Software
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