So you realize that you need a better solution to eliminate spam and provide virus protection for your organization. If you have done any research at all you are probably thinking that Barracuda Networks or some other spam blocking appliance is probably your best solution. Let’s investigate this further.
One issue you will have with any appliance that you install is the cost of on-going licensing fees. This is in addition to the initial capital expense you will incur for the appliance itself. Although Barracuda does do a good job of blocking spam you will always need to manage the appliance with on-going updates and patches.
Then there is the backscatter issue. Barracuda Spam Firewalls are often configured to auto respond to spam emails by letting the sender know that their email has been blocked. The problem is that usually spammers use legitimate email addresses by forging the "From" address in a spam email. When Barrcuda auto responds to the innocent person’s forged email address this is called backscatter. As Barracuda sends out an auto response to each of these forged email addresses the innocent person receiving these auto responses, several times a day, will naturally mark this as spam. If you are using Barracuda’s auto response to spam feature this could possibly get your company block-listed. This would eventually prevent some of your company’s regular emails from being delivered since our domain would be labeled as a spammer. Not good.
Yes, you could configure the Barracuda Spam Firewall to not auto reply to the blocked spam emails but this causes problems too. What happens if there is a false positive, meaning a legitimate person sends an email that is incorrectly blocked as spam, and there is no reply to inform him that his email was blocked? This could cause frustration for the person that sent the email or potentially lead to a loss sale if the sender was inquiring on purchasing from your business and thought you were just being non-responsive.
Let’s say you have a workaround for the backscatter issue and you have plenty of time to spend managing the appliance with updates and tweaks. How would you deal with hard drive lock ups? In July of 2008 Seagate Barracuda released it’s largest hard drive the, the Barracuda 7200.11 which was plagued with lockups from the get go. Seagate has since issued firmware updates to help fix the problem but it appears that some customers are still experiencing problems with lockups and at times actual failures.
More than likely Seagate Barracuda will get this hard drive problem fixed but that is not the point. The point is that appliance hardware used to stop spam can fail and does require ongoing maintenance and monitoring. As effective as Barracuda is in blocking spam and preventing viruses from infiltrating your company’s network there is a better and more cost effective solution to consider.
If you are a small or medium sized business you should seriously consider a managed service by MX Logic. When you figure all of the costs associated of purchasing, installing, administrating and updating a hardware appliance, MX Logic begins to make the most economic sense. In addition, MX Logic also has one of the best track records for blocking spam. In fact it has been independently tested to block 99% of all spam with one of the lowest false positive rates in the industry.
How the service works is pretty straightforward. You simply redirect your mail exchange record (aka your MX record) to the MX Logic Email Defense Service. This way all of your emails are filtered before it even reaches your network firewall. The Email Defense Service then uses a unique multilayered system of more than 20 separate filters to protect against email threats. When the service finds a suspect email it quarantines it so that you or your administrator can review it and decide if the email is legitimate or not.
The engineers at MX Logic are constantly updating their filters and monitoring the service 24x7 so you never have to worry about updating anything yourself. Free technical support is also available 24x7. By utilizing this service you essentially get to tap into the skills of highly trained technicians that eat and breath this stuff.
Barracuda Networks has proven to be an effective tool to eliminate spam enterprise wide. However, as more and more organizations look to managed services to help reduce IT related costs MX Logic also stands out to be an effective spam elimination solution as well.