Bitdefender Anti-Virus Engine Incorporated in SpamTitan v7.00

A new version of TitanHQ’s cloud-based anti-spam service and anti-spam software was released on March 5, 2018. SpamTitan version 7.00 includes patches for recently identified vulnerabilities in the ClamAV antivirus engine and a change to the primary AV engine used by the solution.

The primary anti-virus engine of SpamTitan version 7.00 is provided by the Romanian firm Bitdefender. Bitdefender is an award-winning antivirus engine that provides exceptional email protection against malware, viruses, and ransomware. Combined with the secondary AV engine – ClamAV – users benefit from excellent protection against email-based malware and ransomware attacks. The dual AV engines ensure malicious software is not delivered to end users’ inboxes via email attachments.

The change to Bitdefender was a natural choice and TitanHQ is planning to further its strategic relationship with the Romanian cybersecurity firm over the coming weeks and months. The change to the primary AV engine will be unnoticeable to current users, who will continue to be protected from malicious threats.

The update to the latest version will not happen automatically. Customers who have ‘prefetch of system updates’ enabled on their SpamTitan installations will be able to see the latest version in their list of available updates and can manually trigger the update to the new version. Customers who do not have that option enabled need to “check for updates” via their user interface.

Customers have been advised to read the documentation accompanying the latest version prior to installation as it includes important information on how the update should be applied. TitanHQ explains that it is not possible to update from v4 or v5 of the platform to SpamTitan version 7.00 without first installing version 6 of the platform.

Customers should note that the update must be performed before May 1, 2018 to ensure continued protection, as support for the Kaspersky AV engine – used in all versions of SpamTitan prior to v7 – will cease on that date. TitanHQ has also informed customers that support for v4 and v5 of SpamTitan will also stop on May 1, 2018.

SpamTitan v7.00 includes patches for the following vulnerabilities: CVE-2017-12374, CVE-2017-12375, CVE-2017-12376, CVE-2017-12377, CVE-2017-12379, CVE-2017-12380. All of those vulnerabilities exist in ClamAV. The latest version also improves protection against DoS attacks and should be applied as soon as possible. The update will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.

New research finds that one in six organisations have fired an employee due to social media posts

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – SpamTitan Technologies, the makers of email and web security software have today announced the results of their survey on corporate social media usage. The results show that 87% of companies would consider firing an employee if they posted something confidential about the company on a social media site, while not surprisingly, only 16% of companies think it is ok to use social media for personal use at work.

These results mirror a recent study from Osterman Research which outlines real world corporate behaviour , the research found that one in six companies have dismissed an employee due to something they posted on various social media outlets. High profile examples of people who lost their jobs because of something they posted online include Pizza chain Domino employees who uploaded videos of them playing around with customers’ food on YouTube and a Bishop who was suspended for negative comments about the British royal wedding.

Social media use is on the rise, with 145 million active Twitter users globally and 345 million tweets a day, and Facebook has 845 million Facebook users worldwide. Social media use on corporate networks is also up significantly: Osterman Research found that 36% of corporate employees are using Facebook at work, up from 28% 12 months ago; Twitter use has gone from 11% to 17%; and LinkedIn from 22% to 29%.

“The benefits of social media for companies are far-reaching,” said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO SpamTitan. “However it is a dual edge sword.  To fully realise the benefit and to protect one’s business at the same time requires clear, audited and implemented HR and IT policies around the use of social media tools. Previous research shows that only 22% of organisations have a formal, detailed and thorough social media policy in place. In order to give employees the feelings of autonomy and ownership, they need to know the rules covering general HR issues as well as computer and Internet use.

We all hear stories  of employees wasting  time at work surfing the Web.  As online shopping continues to grow, guess when people do their shopping? According to the 2011 ISACA Shopping on the Job Survey , over 40% of US companys believe they lose over $10k in lost productivity as a result of employees shopping online during work hours.

For the reasons highlighted, an internet usage policy is now a serious requirement for businesses. Importantly, not all internet policies should be the same: each should be tailored to the organisation’s particular requirements so that clear, realistic and company appropriate guidelines are in place.

As well as the issue of time wasting on the internet, the risk of employees accessing infected sites of spreading malware, viruses and botnet infections across the network is widespread.  Cybercriminals wanting access to company network and data are not interested in the size of the company so all sizes are at risk however, being prepared is the best defence to tackle these problems.

About SpamTitan Technologies

SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions,  SpamTitan anti spam, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan business web filter, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of Copperfasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit www.spamtitan.com

 

 

 

 

76% of SMBs are under pressure to allow more access to Web 2.0 tools

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland –  76% of SMBs (small and mid-size business) surveyed in a poll carried out by SpamTitan Technologies stated that they are under pressure to allow more access to Web 2.0.  Almost half, 44.4%, said that they do not have security in place to protect from Web 2.0 specific threats.  The business web filtering solutions provider encourages SMBs to deploy formal social media policies.

Forrester predicts the market for social enterprise apps will grow from $600 million in 2011 to $6.4 billion by 2016. The next decade is going to be a challenge to small business owners as they battle to make IT budgets stretch to deliver new tools without any downside.  Said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO, SpamTitan Technologies  “Social media in the enterprise represents a double-edge sword.  On the one hand, it opens up new business opportunities and powerful ways to engage with a company’s customer base.  However, on the other hand, it can expose business to new risks such as security threats and reduced network productivity.” He concluded. “With different research  studies showing that between 30-40% of SMB malware threats originate from social media sites, it is imperative that  small business owners take a close look at their IT and social media strategies, and establish policies now so that they harness the best of social media without downside – or downtime”

A recent study by analyst firm SMB Group showed that only about half of SMBs take a strategic and structured approach with social media. An unstructured approach means most SMBs will not have a social media or corporate internet usage police – leaving them vulnerable to potentially crippling business vulnerabilities.  

SpamTitan suggests SMBs and their HR and IT teams consider the following to help create effective and secure social media strategies and policies.

  • Does your company have classified information – customer data, accounts, banking information etc – that if corrupted or stolen would ruin your business and could leave you liable legally?
  •  How long can you afford to shut your system down and what will the productivity and financial costs be  Unmanaged social media access increases vulnerability to phishing and malware attacks.
  • Which specific individuals and departments need access to these tools for business purposes?
  • Does your company have an IT and application user policy in place; and do you have the tools required to manage access? e.g. access to personal email or Facebook only permitted at lunch time or before/after work for some, and always for others e.g. marketing.

About SpamTitan Technologies

SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan anti spam, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan business web filter, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of Copperfasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit www.spamtitan.com 

80% of companies believe permitting online gaming during work would cost them money.

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – 14th Dec 2011 – A recent poll carried out by email security and web filtering solutions provider, SpamTitan Technologies, has found that 80% of businesses surveyed (global sample) believe allowing workplace gaming costs money. Companies claim that distracted employees using social networking and online gaming during work hours are not carrying out their roles effectively and leave the company vulnerable to attack from malware and viruses which exceeds the potential benefits of a less stressed workforce .

Recent studies suggest allowing employees to play computer games outside of work hours, i.e. at lunch, or during break times is beneficial and encourages co-operation and social bonding. This research shows that employees feel more relaxed, confident, energetic, and productive, concluding that gaming should be allowed in the workplace. However for this to be efffective companies need to have an internet usage policy and security solutions  in place which will deal with the IT security and cost implications which includes:

– Greater demand on bandwidth usage
– Internet threats such as viruses, spyware and phishing
– Hacking incidents, and the consequent data and content security risks
– Time spent by IT managers dealing with these issues

The repercussions of IT security breaches are extensive, and the cost for individual companies can be potentially huge as Sony recently experienced. According to research from Rasmussen College’s School of Technology & Design, when Sony’s gaming services were hit, the collective hacking incidents and subsequent network outages cost the company an estimated $6 billion in costs and affected more than 100 million user accounts.  Sony  is a large company with substantial resources, smaller businesses are even more vulnerable when it comes to attacks.

“As the research suggests gaming at work can be productive if handled carefully with rules and usage regulations in place combined with software installations to protect the IT infrastructure,” said Ronan Kavanagh, SpamTitan Technologies CEO. “If companies allow their employees to have access to online computer games at work they need to be sure to use a web filtering tool, like WebTitan, to manage the time allocated for gaming, monitor the bandwidth demands and block dangerous sites.”

[1] Melbourne University study shows employees who could access social media from work were between 9% (Melbourne study) and 33% more productive than employees whose access was restricted.

About SpamTitan Technologies
SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of Copperfasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit www.spamtitan.com

SpamTitan poll reveals Companies IT security practices are leaving them vulnerable to spear phishing attacks.

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland– A recent poll carried out by SpamTitan has discovered that 70% of companies that believe their organisation have been a victim of a spear phishing attack  are unsure that such attacks are reported to I.T. and dealt with appropriately. The lack of proactive measures to deal with the attacks can cost companies financially through the loss of data and system downtime. Spear phishing is a growing issue where a targeted false email that appears to be legitimate is sent to individuals or a company in order to access data.

The poll was distributed to SpamTitan customers who were asked if their company has ever experienced a spear phishing attack and if said attack had been reported to their IT department for treatment. Only 32% of those who responded believed their organisation had been exposed to a spear phishing attack but of those 70% were unsure whether the incident had been reported to their IT department to deal with.

These findings highlight the importance of a company security policy and the importance of communicating this policy effectively so that all employees know how to deal with the myriad of security issues they are regularly faced with. This includes what actions to take if they receive a suspicious and unsolicited email, what to do if they receive an email requesting information but the sender is not known to them, what internet activity can they reasonably pursue within company policy, if their role requires them to access a site that is blocked company wide how do they request access?

Most people are now aware of various prevalent banking phishing scams or similar, spear phishing is another advanced attempt at a breach of security that appears legitimate and should therefore be highlighted even more as it is a much more sophisticated form of phishing,” said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO, SpamTitan.com. ‘Educating employees around a range of security issues is an important step that many companies ignore. Yes, robust, powerful and updated security solutions are crucial but this doesn’t mean that companies can afford to ignore the ‘softer’ behavioural issues associated with security.  It only takes one employee to open the wrong email to give access to senstitive company data bring a whole company’s IT systems to a halt.”

About spear phishing

Spear phishing is the act of creating and sending a falsely created email to one person or several people at a particular company. The email usually appears to come from a person of authority – or  someone who works at the same company.

About SpamTitan Technologies

SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers’ unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of Copperfasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit  https://www.spamtitan.com

Businesses lose an average of $65,000 per year to workers using social media reveals SpamTitans Social Media calculator

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – A calculator which measures the cost to companies of time spent by employees using social media has revealed that the average company with 52 employees pays out  $65000 per year for non-work related social media activity. WebTitan’s social media cost calculator shows that workers using non-work related social networking for a mere 20 minutes is the equivalent of paying out $65,000 or 5% of the year’s salary bill for non-productive work.

Social media is growing exponentially so the issue of people accessing and using it during work hours is likely to increase and continue to cost companies in terms of productivity and ultimately financially. Twitter has grown from 27 million Tweets per day in 2010 to 95 million – a 250% increase. Facebook has grown globally from 350 million active users, to 640 million – half of which login daily. Other social media products such as Flickr, Wikipedia , YouTube and the new Google+ combined with access from mobile devices establishes how pervasive social media is.

Finding a way to manage non-work browsing habits, including accessing Facebook at work, Tweeting, watching YouTube videos or any of the numerous other social media activities that can distract employees in their daily working lives, is proving challenging for companies. As social media calculator shows, there is a significant cost involved and companies should think about how to stop this getting out of control.

“With companies now using social media to market to customers it is important that social media access is flexibly managed as roles require it, and that the web filtering tool employed to do this is dynamic enough to keep pace with changes within the organization’ said Ronan Kavanagh, SpamTitan Technologies CEO. ‘In the past companies just had to consider personal use of telephone and subsequently email, now they have a minefield of Internet related access points to consider.”

If you want to see how your company is being affected by non work related social networking try WebTitan’s calculator here – Social Media Cost Calculator.  For further information on WebTitan visit the website www.webtitan.com or email info@webtitan.com

For short video clip: Click here

About SpamTitan Technologies

SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan anti-spam, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of Copperfasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit  www.spamtitan.com  

IT Managers say spam remains the greatest source of phishing threats in the workplace

SpamTitan Technologies, the makers of powerful yet easy-to-manage spam and web filtering software, today announced the findings of its latest survey of SMBs on the continued danger of phishing attacks.  The research shows that despite media reports about the rise in phishing on social networking sites its perceived threat to businesses is marginal in comparison with traditional spam techniques.

An overwhelming majority (75 percent) of IT managers surveyed regard traditional spam as the top security threat. Opinion is divided over whether business network security measures have caused phishing attacks to migrate from email to social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook with 37 percent saying it is a growing phenomenon while 31 percent disagree.  Instead they regard the move to on-line phishing as a natural response the growth in the user communities of the main social networking sites.

Clear policies along with improvements in user education and awareness topped recommendations as the best way to beat phishing in all its forms.

“Phishing attacks remain a clear and present threat to businesses,” said  Ronan Kavanagh, CEO of SpamTitan Technologies.  “There is no evidence to suggest that network security measures are discouraging the number of phishing attacks it is simply that the arrival of social networking in the workplace has presented phishers with a bigger pond to phish in.”

SpamTitan’s survey findings about the phishing threat posed by social networking sites are consistent with another Internet security report from earlier this year. According to antivirus software vendor Kaspersky Labs Facebook’s share of phishing attacks in the first three months of 2010 was just 5.7 percent. This earned it fourth place on the list of most-targeted Web sites a long way behind the leaders HSBC, eBay and PayPal which alone accounts for more than 52 percent of all scams.

To safeguard customers from phishing attacks, the latest SpamTitan release uses a multi-layered approach. It includes new malware detection mechanisms and other significant improvements to the scan engine including a large set of Phishing signatures, support for SURBLs (Spam URL Realtime Blocklists) and heuristic rule tests. The new phishing module allows SpamTitan to deliver better and more generic detection of phishing emails by searching for URLs in email messages and can also detect day-zero phishing emails. 

 

 

 

 About SpamTitan Technologies
SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from
email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies’ unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of CopperFasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit www.spamtitan.com.

SpamTitan Technologies, now TitanHQ, recommend security measures be reviewed as social networking moves to the workplace

Boston, MA and Galway –19th April 2010: WebTitan features in the latest issue of Security Park, the leading portal for IT Security professsionals. The piece recommends businesses review the security they have in place as social networking becomes a valuable business function. Instead of being used just for internal communication, they are also now being used externally – as a way of engaging directly with customers, releasing news, marketing products or simply as a way of raising a profile. Even when using social networking as a business tool, corporations still need to manage traffic to social sites. Companies need to get to a point where they are not just blocking or allowing internet access, but are managing employee behaviour.   Read more.

TitanHQ CEO features in Messaging News article on the reasons behind the decline of the security hardware appliance.

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – 9 February 2010: The latest issue of  Messaging News, a premier publication focused on on the rapidly changing face of business email and messaging technology, features an insightful article by WebTitan CEO, Ronan Kavanagh.

The article titled ‘the Death of the Hardware Security Appliance’ investigates the link between the rising popularity of virtualization for business applications of all kinds and the decline of the security hardware appliance. Kavanaghs’ article discusses how Virtualization technology has only recently come into its own developing from single server installations to fully global cloud-based infrastructures. Read more

SpamTitan Technology, now TitanHQ, predict that Hardware security appliances will be functionally redundant by 2011

Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – 9 December 2009; SpamTitan Technologies, the makers of powerful yet easy-to-manage spam and web filtering software, today predicted that virtualised-driven, cloud computing offerings will render hardware security appliances all but functionally obsolete by the end of 2011. SpamTitan cited sales evidence to show that mounting pressure to cut hardware ownership costs and the ready availability of a growing number of easy-to-use and affordable virtual security appliances are rapidly changing buying habits in the IT security market.

According to SpamTitan CEO Ronan Kavanagh, the security landscape has changed completely with virtual appliances becoming an unstoppable force. Read more

 

 

 

SpamTitan’s Industry Survey Identifies IT Investment Trend Among Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs)

BOSTON, MA and GALWAY, IRELAND — 05/18/09 — SpamTitan, a leading producer of email security solutions, today announced the results of its global industry survey of just over 500 users of email security solutions.

The results clearly show that email security threats such as SPAM, viruses, Trojans, Phishing, Malware are at the forefront of operational challenges facing small and medium size businesses (SMBs).

The survey also shows that the SMB market acknowledges that an economic dip is the best time to make innovative IT investments. SMBs are taking action, and recognize that a re-evaluation of their current email security and other office technology solutions is a worthwhile endeavour in order to optimize business operations and reduce costs. During this economic downturn, SMBs that have the foresight to make the right type of IT investments will have a better ability to gain a competitive edge and further differentiate themselves from the industry giants.

Read the full article here.

SpamTitan, now TitanHQ, launch new Virtualisation Whitepaper

Galway 15 Jan 2008 – In keeping with their strategy of promoting and educating the market on the benefits of virtual appliances, SpamTitan, Irelands only "VMready" classified provider of virtual appliances today announced the release of a new whitepaper entitled "Virtualization and Virtual Appliances" The paper outlines the tremendous advantages of virtualisation and in particular the deployment of software based virtual appliances. The abstract is as follows:

In today’s world, everybody in looking for ways to save – to save money, to save time and to save energy – and "do more with less" has become a common mantra in modern businesses.

Virtualization is now firmly embedded in the enterprise mainstream. By moving away from the one-application-per-server deployment model, enterprises have been able to reap a broad set of benefits including cost reductions, improved availability and increased agility. However, many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) continue to view virtualization as an enterprise-only technology that would not be viable in their smaller organizations – and that is a misconception.

This white paper explains how SMBs can leverage virtualization in order to make maximum use of their resources and maintain their competitive edge – and why they need to consider deploying virtualization sooner rather than later.

The Case For Virtual Appliances By James Staten, Forrester Research

This is a document excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Time-to-deployment means time-to-revenue for most ISVs today, and reducing deployment complexity can be the difference between making your quarterly numbers or not. ISVs can now address time-to-deployment via new options, including hardware appliances and software-as-a-service (SaaS). This report makes the case for a new deployment option made possible by the proliferation of server virtualization — the virtual appliance. Virtual appliances enable dramatically simpler on-premise deployments without the burden of hardware management or the infrastructure implications of SaaS. Other benefits include assurance around performance and reliability, simpler administration, lower software life-cycle management, and streamlined upgrades. ISVs should begin evaluating this new option to determine if it can speed deployments and transform their business models for the better.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • There Has To Be A Better Way To Deliver Software
  • Software Firms Weigh New Delivery Alternatives
  • Virtual Appliances Cut Costs And Accelerate Sales
  • IT Users Will Love This, Too
  • Commodity, Security, And SMB Software Fit Best
  • High-Performance And Highly Customized Apps Don’t Fit

RECOMMENDATIONS

Start Experimenting With Virtual Appliances Now

WHAT IT MEANS

Virtual Appliances Will Temper The SaaS Trend

NOTES & RESOURCES

Forrester interviewed the following companies for this report: Amazon.com, BEA Systems, Business Objects, F5 Networks, La-Z-Boy, Network Engines, Openbravo, Purisma, rPath, SpamTitan, and VMware

The full paper can be purchased here

The Epic Struggle Against Spam by Barry Zellen, TechnologyInnovator.com

Network & Information Security The Epic Struggle against Spam: SpamTitan Comes to the Rescue as SMEs face a Rising Tide of Spam

Sep 24, 2007 – By Barry Zellen, www.technologyinnovator.com

Like the Monty Python song goes: Spam spam spam spam; Spam spam spam spam. An endless deluge of spam has been flooding the inboxes of individuals and enterprises for years, but until recently, SMEs were largely spared the agony.

Off the radar scopes of most spammers, who bulk targeted enterprise email addresses and individual email addresses from the larger ISPs, the SMEs have begun to lose the sanctuary provided by their small size, and the uncommon nature of their email addresses that eluded most harvesting techniques. Especially since the advent of botnets, SMEs have entered the fray, drawn in to this epic struggle against the rising tide of electronic mayhem, as the relentless deluge of spam continues to clog the electronic arteries of corporate America.

For the enterprise, spam has long been a huge and expensive problem requiring an increasing slice of the IT and security budgetary pie. And for many ISPs, it’s required an expensive anti-spam effort to ensure the security of their customers, and their continued loyalty. For the SME, this sudden onslaught of spam can be the kiss of death, paralyzing operations as the inboxes of these understaffed organizations jam up with thousands of unwanted, unsolicited spams. Finding an easy-to -use, easy-to-afford solution to this mushrooming spam epidemic could thus save a company as small as a mom and pop operation or as large as a global enterprise, significant time, resources, and stress.

And we know: last year we found we were spending several hours each day sifting through our inbox looking for legitimate, business-critical correspondence; and almost as much time sifting through our spam folder looking for false positives that got tagged as spam but which contained untold riches and opportunity. As part of our search for a solution to this growing nemesis of businesses both large and small, we spoke with Ronan Kavanagh, sales director of Galway, Ireland-based SpamTitan, a provider of both physical and virtual appliances that protect users from the spam deluge.

SpamTitan’s name was itself reason enough to seek out a briefing: the Random House unabridged dictionary describes a titan as “a person or thing of enormous size, strength, power, influence,” and the origins of the word hark back to ancient Greek mythology, to the family of giants born to Uranus and Gaea, including their sons Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Oceanus, who sought to rule heaven and were overthrown and supplanted by the family of Zeus. We find ourselves locked into our own epic struggle against an invisible nemesis, so this etymological link to ancient Greek mythology sounded promising. If the company can live up to the epic and glorious nature of its name, we figured, it’s definitely worth a conversation – and maybe even a download of the free trial version I found at www.spamtitan.com.

Among the first questions we had for Kavanagh was the genesis of SpamTitan’s name, and he explained, “We thought long and hard about it, and the first thing we wanted, since the product is very much focused on an online sales and deployment process, so bearing that in mine, we wanted spam in the name, so people could find us” when searching online, using Google and other search engines. As for “the Titan element,” that emerged from “just a lot of thought of what we wanted to put out there,” suggesting “strength, protection, we wanted something that basically, you hear it, you know exactly what it does – that’s what we focused on and that s what we got – and we’re happy with it.”

SpanTitan’s solution, and the pricing and distribution model used by its virtual appliance solution, holds much promise, for a wide spectrum of customers, from the SME seeking simplicity, ease of deployment and a low price point to the enterprise struggling with growth, geographical expansion or changing locations, for whom a virtual appliance makes strategic sense. Without a box to move, or reconfigure, getting bigger and expanding one’s corporate footprint won’t become complex or expensive. It also holds promise for the SME sector, generally lacking the in-house IT capabilities to manage a physical appliance: the easily downloaded solution sits well with the technically challenged, as well as the resource-starved. SpamTitan recently announced it had been certified by VMware to join its Virtual Appliance Marketplace, a vote of confidence from one of virtualization’s masters of the universe. All good stuff that made us curious to learn more.

Spam Increasingly Targets the SME

Our sense that spam was on the rise, and increasingly affecting smaller businesses than before, was reinforced by our conversation with Kavanagh, who observed, “We’ve seen it change within probably the last twelve months to a year-and-a-half, becoming much more dynamic.” He added that “small organizations noticed a change, and we’ve noticed that change from a number of different factors – the singular biggest change is in the sheer volumes of spam that have continued to emerge. In the last 12 months, there’s been a doubling of the volumes of spam a least.” This has been the “biggest singular effect that has impacted us,” both “to our physical appliance as well as our virtual appliance,” as SpamTitan has “had to upgrade a lot of those appliances just to deal with the sheer capacity in volumes that have shown themselves out there.”

In addition to the “sheer volumes of spam being seen out there,” Kavanagh observed that “one of the big things that we saw” that’s been having an “impact on the SME sector” was in the “methods adopted by spammers,” and “the biggest single impact is the use of botnets by spammer,” which are used to harvest email addresses off PCs and servers.

The result of this is that SMEs are “starting to see spam when in the past they didn’t.” In the past, he noted, “people were advised, ‘use a secondary email address online and don’t respond to spam messages, don’t give business cards out to people on the street, and basically you should be fine,’ but now botnets are corrupting computers, taking e-mail out of computers,” and the upshot is that “people that never got spam in the past are getting spam now” and this is “affecting the people in the five and ten people organizations” who were “not getting spam in the past.” So now, “as a result they need the same level of solution that the enterprise level needs, and the same level of functionality.”

So while “a lot of SME customers had something in place to stop spam,” Kavanagh has found that “they were looking around because it just wasn’t good enough or offered limited functionality,” and that their “solution is almost as difficult to deal with as the problem – a particular challenge for a small organization if you don’t have a large IT staff.”

Indeed, so widespread were these “problems with solutions that upwards of 90 percent said they had an existing solution in place,” and there were a “wide variety of solutions they were using.” But he found that “the two or three top topics for why they were looking elsewhere were largely associated with the ineffectiveness of their solution, poor functionality, and finally the costs.”

Addressing all three of these issues head-on, SpamTitan has been making inroads to the SME space; even for those small and midsize businesses for whom “using managed services are quite popular,” a lot of their service providers are now “using SpamTitan now to offer to their customers.” Added Kavanagh, “SMEs really do rely on companies like our own to come up with patches and solutions as soon as possible after the next spam trick is released.”

A Virtual Solution to a Very Real Problem

As spam volumes continue to rise, Kavanagh explained, SpamTitan’s virtual appliance solution offers scalability well-suited to these perilous times. He identified “a couple of areas pertinent to the e-mail gateways that virtual appliances offer benefits” apart from fighting spam. One of these is volumes: “with virtual appliances, if there is an increase on volumes for mail, instead of removing a tin box and buying a bigger one, you just assign more memory to the virtual appliance and make it bigger with the GUI,” something that can be “done in five minutes at no extra cost.”

This is particularly attractive to larger users, like ISPs and educational institutions, “where a five to ten percent bump in spam can have a significant impact on the resources” spent on IT. Kavanagh observed “within the enterprise, where a lot of the virtualization software is pitched, the benefits really accrue,” and added that “if you are a large organization, the savings is bigger.” Kavanagh added, “In the IT world, if you want to benefit further from those,” SpamTitan is “offering a solution that is purpose-built for that environment, we certainly believe that enterprises are going to be delighted to look at it: they know all about the benefits of virtualization, and they have the expertise to really benefit from virtual appliances.”

For smaller users, virtual appliances offer an additional value proposition: they “bring enterprise class functionality down to the SME sector, and are priced accordingly.” As Kavanagh recalled, “When we launched the SpamTitan product, we were very cognizant of the number of vendors in the space” and realized that the “uniqueness of a virtual appliance and the versatility of a virtual appliance over a physical appliance give a real edge to SpamTitan over other players in the space,” with its “software solution around virtualization instead of a physical hardware appliance,” but “still with the same benefits of a physical appliance.” By offering a virtual appliance, the “overall cost to us as a company were dramatically reduced” and “we were able to put the product on the market for price that was very affordable.”

So Affordable, Thanks to Innovative Appliance-Based Pricing Model

So affordable, in fact, that an up-to-100 user license costs just $500, rising from there: up to 250 users costs $750; up to 500 users, $1,250; up to 750 users, $2,000; up to 1,000 users, $2,500; up to 2,000 users, $3,250; up to 5,000 users, $4,000, and above 5,000 users, the price is subject to a POA.

Kavanagh described this as a “fairly unique licensing model,” noting it was “an appliance based pricing model,” adding that the “product is software-based, coming from a hardware genesis” and that “we’ve stuck with that particular model so rather than a few-user license – for instance, for ten- and twenty-users per increment, “we’ve put very wide bracket out there,” with the “first appliance license good for 100, the next for 250, a very simple system and allows us a lot of flexibility, provides an enterprise-class solution to an area that has been very neglected or priced out of the market previously.”

In SpamTitan’s competitive landscape, where it faces “the normal brands that pop-up in the anti-spam solutions” space, customers are drawn “for different reasons to different companies.” But “when they come across SpamTitan,” Kavanagh explained, they are “coming across the concept of virtual appliances: we introduced this concept.” And “over and above what they’ve been used to dealing with, either dealing with a single point of failure, redundancy issues within their gateway,” customers can find solace “when they see virtual appliances, particularly if familiar with virtualization through VMware appliances.”

As Kavanagh explained, at SpamTitan, “we kind of see it as an evolution – we’ve seen people move from traditional software solutions to appliances for the obvious benefits, primarily around ease of use and deployment. You don’t have to set up servers, operating systems, virtual appliances, this takes it to another level: it’s almost a marrying of the two, the benefits of software, some of which are lost going to appliances, taking the positive of both elements, put together and evolved into virtual appliances.”

Four Key Benefits to Look For When Evaluating Anti-Spam Solutions

Kavanagh described the key benefits of SpamTitan, noting “we categorize it into four key benefits,” including testing, ease of deployments, redundancy, and scalability.

The first of these benefits that’s “immediate obviously to our customers” is their “testing of the product. Rather than physically get a piece of hardware and get it into datacenter to test, they can download it and have it running in half an hour, simple as that.” Plus, “when they’ve done the testing, they can keep it,” and even if their “30-day license for evaluation purposes may have ended, they can keep the data, rather than given back a physical testing box.” While this “may seem like a small point,” Kavanagh stressed that it’s “an extremely important point for a lot of organizations in the testing process.”

When it comes to deployment, “whether local or further geographic locations, because it’s software, it’s an image, it can be stored and backed up and sent to anywhere you want.” For instance, “to deploy to four different boxes in four different countries can be done online – the images can be deployed over the ‘net, configured on a PC locally, and sent off for everyone.” As Kavanagh described the benefits: “It’s huge: we see it online, because we come from a hardware background, we know what’s involved when a customer in the UK or Spain or the States or whatever wants to test our hardware box, we deal with a local distributor or reseller, send them the unit, have to insure it – if we never see the box again, if we get paid for it,” and on top of these worries, there may be “a time lag between the initial conversation and the customer getting the unit, a day or two or a week or two. With a virtual appliance, they come to our website, download, burn it onto a disc, and off they go – as simple as that.”

This ease of deployment is an “edge we will have had,” since “our business model was such that it made the transition into the area of virtual appliances nearly seamless.” Also adding to SpamTitan’s appeal was “getting through the certification process with VMware, the partnership deals with that. We’re on the road, as opposed to still figuring it all out,” while it is “doubtless other people will look at this model, for ourselves, we see ourselves as having a level of expertise at this stage that is putting us in a very good place.”

Among the other “big” benefits of SpamTitan is its redundancy. As Kavanagh explained, “Again the whole idea of failures within a hardware environment – and how you deal with that – the complexity and cost of how you deal with that – physically removing the appliance or replacing it with another, or going to the expense of having a host of high-availability units on standby, with a virtual appliance,” you’re “just baking up the image – image can simply be deployed to another server immediately – that in itself is a fantastic benefit for customers,” as the “downtime associated with that is almost zero.” The advantages for geographic dispersements also hold with redundancy and back-up.” For instance, “if a box breaks in Germany, rather than send a new box, you simple redeploy the image onto another server in Germany.”

Lastly, SpamTitan offers its users the ease of scalability – simply “increase the resource within the virtual server, rather than upgrade the physical appliances.” Kavanagh explained that these benefits are “all interlinked,” and when combined foster an additional benefit: mobility, so “if you are moving offices,” whereas a “physical box, moved from place A to B,” requires much effort, for “virtual appliances, this just doesn’t happen.” This “scalability, mobility, are all quite linked – the whole idea is they can be very, very flexible and malleable and making the IT job a bit easier wherever possible.”

And, explained Kavanagh, it’s SpamTitan’s “flexibility, being probably the top of the list,” that sets it apart.

About SpamTitan

For more information on SpamTitan, please visit: www.spamtitan.com. According to the company, SpamTitan “provides the most comprehensive solution to email threats on the market today.” Its software “allows you to create an email appliance, real or virtual, for your gateway offering protection from viruses, spam, malware, phishing and unwanted content. The solution uses best of breed technologies to provide an easily installed, easily managed and highly secure solution for your email.” Among the benefits of SpamTitan’s solution are:

  • Full Free Product download
  • Free 30 day maintenance and support
  • 98.5% Spam blocked
  • ISO and VMware® options
  • Annual Maintenance fees from $150 for 100 users
  • Includes two AntiVirus Solutions – Kaspersky and ClamAV
  • End User Spam Quarantine and digest
  • Up and running in 30 minutes
  • Email content controls
  • Disclaimers on email
  • In and outward bound scanning
  • Unlimited domains supported
  • Full automated reporting suite

New White Paper – Virtual v’s Physical Appliances – 4 Compelling Reasons for Change

SpamTitan are delighted to release a new white paper:
Virtual v’s Physical Appliances – 4 Compelling Reasons for Change.

Executive Summary

Virtual Appliances have appeared on the horizon as an unstoppable force. Where traditional appliances supplanted the office and data centre server, the virtual appliance has taken this to a new level and in turn rendered the incumbent effectively obsolete. Where appliances addressed critical needs not addressed by office servers, they also introduced further complexities and difficulties which are easily resolved by virtual servers. This white paper takes a look at the advantages of virtual appliances in comparison with physical appliances and addresses some of the key benefits. Benefits which include ease of evaluation and testing, ease of deployment, streamlined redundancy and backup, and the key benefits of scalability and mobility….

Download full white paper on “Virtual vs Physical appliances”