Local anti-spam system catches DIA's attention

Pronet currently working with DIA to develop a Forensic Pilot Programme

Auckland-based Pronet, a provider of secure network and systems infrastructure, has developed its own anti-spam system, which has now caught the interest of the Department of Internal Affairs.

The Pronet EMS product is a fully managed spam and virus content filtering system, which is hosted at Pronet’s Albany datacentre. The company’s clients have used the system for the last three years, but it is now being released to a wider market, says managing director Colin Kinross. The system has around 3,000 users at the moment, he says.

Pronet is currently working with the DIA, using the antispam system to develop a Forensic Pilot Programme for dealing with spamming issues, says Kinross.

Feedback from clients has been positive to date, says Kinross. “One client said he has received one false positive in over two years and [he] is extremely happy as his company does not spend resources dealing with daily spam and now his engineers can concentrate on more productive issues, saving him thousands of dollars a year,” he says.

Pronet decided to create its own anti-spam system because existing services were not delivering on accuracy, says Kinross.

“Too many systems either trigger and block legitimate email — false positives — or are tuned down to stop false positives, but in turn letting spam through,” he says.

His company does not rely on “just a handful of identification processes” for its system, he says.

“We use multiple, customised, in-house and industry standard scanning techniques to classify email,” he says. The system comprises over 12 stages of scanning and classification.

The main differentiator when compared to other anti-spam systems is that the core of Pronet’s system is easily customised, which means it can respond to new variants of spam or attacks quickly, without having to rely on vendors to provide updates or patches to their proprietary software, Kinross says.

“We also operate and manage the entire system from our own datacentre so we have control over all aspects of the platform.”

Because the system has been developed in New Zealand, and because the process has been designed to compete effectively with other anti-spam systems, Pronet manages to keep the price of the system down, says Kinross. The product costs $1.60 per user per month, he says.

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