How the Antivirus and Antispam Functionalities Work PDF Print E-mail

The desire of a great number of people is to really stop all manner of spam and cut down on all incidences of virus attacks. But owing to the variety of techniques used to perpetrate these kinds of attacks, the reality is that stopping them entirely is still a very tall order. Every passing day, the nature and tactics used evolve and the reality is that both organization and individuals will be keen to reduce spam and work very hard to stop viruses and attacks associated with viruses and malware. Spam and virus attacks are mutually related and it is often noted that a reduction in the spam that an organization receives goes along with decreased virus attacks.

The approach to spam control and against virus attacks has to be multifaceted and multipronged to keep up with the spammer and other malicious elements targeting company networks and websites. Again the approach to eliminating spam and viruses has to be layered so that features which are designed whether they are anti-spam or antivirus get to work alongside each other in eliminating these twin problems. Reducing and eventually eliminating spam works to free up processing resources in the computer, bandwidth and even storage.

The configuration of some of the best anti-spam and antivirus applications is that they utilize the layered approach in their features and filters to guarantee that neither spam nor viruses cripple computers or the network. The layered kind of approach can be best understood by looking at how the filtering works and applies at every layer. Connection filtering is one most common feature and which deals with aspects of IP address which is trying to send the inbound message and this determine if the message is to be rejected or to be accepted. The connection filtering utilizes IP allow lists and block lists and the provider services which go along with the service to stop or allow connection to a specific IP address. Alongside the connection filtering is the Sender ID which works dependent on the sending server and its IP address and the Purported Responsible address of the sender and these determine if a sender has been spoofed or not.

Content filtering is an important part of doing away with spam and viruses. The contents of a message are filtered using the intelligent message filter which is able to distinguish the contents of a legitimate email message and that of spam. With this the content filter agent is able to apply the spam quarantine feature hence making sure that no important message is lost by being categorized as spam. Sender filtering is another of the layers of anti-spam and antivirus which compares sender against administrator defined list of senders and sender domains which not allowed sending messages to the organization. This is possible through the MAIL FROM: SMTP command. The recipient filtering is yet another feature which anti-spam applications work on by matching recipients of a message against a recipient block list via the RCPT TO: SMTP. Other layers of filtering are by sender reputation and by attachment filtering all aimed at getting rid of spam. Sender reputation works via a protocol analysis agent which will block messages from senders whose sender reputation level does not get to a certain threshold level.

What is more important is that an individual or the organization should have a very good plan on how to go about and monitoring the effectiveness and the efficiency of the anti-spam features in eliminating spam. They can be adjusted to make sure that they work well with the kind of environment where they are applied. A non aggressive approach can be adopted to act as a test so that crucial services are not affected like the email service and other false positives are eliminated through minor tweaks which also tighten on eliminating spam and viruses. Most vendors provide software which marries a number of the anti-spam technologies with antivirus as well as other security features like the anti-scam and anti-phishing to produce a wholesome package. But as mentioned earlier, of utmost importance is an evaluation of the security needs with regard to spam and viruses and finding foolproof methods of addressing these problems to reduce the loss of time and resources.