Microsoft Will Extend E-Mail Protection With Exchange Edge Services
Feb. 24, 2004
Enhanced SMTP Implementation Will Enable Partners to Deliver SolutionsTo Further Protect Customer E-Mail Infrastructures

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24, 2004 — Today in his keynote address at the RSA Conference 2004, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced that the company will deliver Microsoft® Exchange Edge Services, an enhancement to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) relay implementation in Exchange Server, part of the Windows Server System (TM) . With Exchange Edge Services, Microsoft will provide a new set of capabilities aimed at enabling customers to better protect their e-mail system from junk e-mail and viruses as well as improve the efficiency of handling and routing Internet e-mail traffic.

"The viability of the e-mail system as we know it is threatened by the constant deluge of information -- both wanted and unwanted -- that companies receive daily and hourly. We are striving to provide customers with the means to meet this challenge head on and preserve the integrity and productivity of their organization," said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Server Platform Division at Microsoft. "Exchange Edge Services will be a comprehensive way for customers to better protect their Exchange e-mail infrastructure and improve the efficiency of the handling of the tremendous amounts of incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic."

Exchange Edge Services will perform three major functions critical to overall e-mail protection, security and hygiene. As an SMTP relay, it will serve as an e-mail gatekeeper, for enhanced security and reliability when relaying e-mail to and from the Internet. It also will provide a variety of methods, built on the foundation already laid in Exchange Server 2003, to help block junk e-mail, and an extensibility infrastructure that industry partners can use to build and run anti-spam and anti-virus solutions. In addition, it will apply basic routing server rules, from relaying and address rewriting to format conversion, and provide the basic engine to allow an administrator to build custom rules.

One of the biggest challenges of the new millennium is the control and management of e-mail and its content. This new implementation of Exchange Edge Services helps address mission-critical concerns customers have about e-mail protection, security and hygiene. By taking advantage of the Windows® networking infrastructure, Exchange Edge Services will provide customers with a number of different deployment and configuration options, including the option to take advantage of the Active Directory® directory service and Internet Information Services.

"Many organizations today are running outdated legacy SMTP relay implementations," said Matt Cain, senior vice president at META Group Inc. "To ensure business continuity for e-mail services, we are strongly counseling clients to upgrade their mail relay infrastructures."

Industry Support

Exchange Edge Services gives industry partners a solid, extensible infrastructure to use to deliver innovative and robust solutions that help address customer needs for improved e-mail security and hygiene at the network boundary. Exchange Edge Services will provide a new way to extend the Windows-based infrastructure and can serve as an alternative to the complicated legacy systems used to protect the e-mail perimeter today.

With Exchange Edge Services, priority has been given to enabling greater control and flexibility over incoming and outgoing SMTP data, allowing industry partners to build solutions with anti-spam, anti-virus, secured messaging and content management capabilities. Partners will be able to build solutions that scan for viruses and help manage content security as well as support legacy Microsoft platforms and non-Microsoft operating systems. For partners with service offerings, Exchange Edge Services will provide another tool to deploy as part of a larger security solution.

Already partners such as Brightmail Inc., GFI Software Ltd., Network Associates Technology Inc., Panda Software, Sybari Software Inc., Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc. have expressed excitement around this new software and intend to deliver solutions that further extend the capabilities of Exchange Edge Services.

A Comprehensive Solution

Although it is critically important to provide a solution that offers protection at the client level, server level and the perimeter, Microsoft's philosophy is to block viruses and junk e-mail at the perimeter of the network, before they reach the end user and become harmful or distracting. Exchange Edge Services builds on the improvements in Exchange Server 2003 and the announcement of the Intelligent Message Filter.

Exchange Edge Services will include an intelligent, adaptive spam-filter and will feature the first implementation of the proposed Caller ID for E-Mail specification, which will help prevent domain spoofing and increase effectiveness of spam filters by verifying the original domain of a sent message. The filter will be the next evolution of the Intelligent Message Filter, built on SmartScreen Technology, which performs heuristics-based analysis to determine whether a message is junk e-mail.

Together with Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Exchange 2003 helps block both malicious content and junk e-mail at the gateway and client levels, thereby helping put control of the inbox back into the hands of users. Support for safe and blocked senders lists, domain spoofing prevention, and a range of other spam-blocking and spam-filtering techniques built into the core Exchange 2003 product allows IT administrators to focus on maintaining a healthy network, thereby helping keep end users more productive. Exchange 2003 also was designed to better integrate with third-party products. The updated virus-scanning API (VSAPI version 2.5) and junk e-mail filter spam confidence level (SCL) rating property enable partners to deliver more-integrated and more-effective solutions. In addition, the Exchange version of the recently announced Intelligent Message Filter will be released in the coming months, enabling Exchange 2003 customers to further protect messaging systems.

More information about Exchange Edge Services can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/security/edgeservices.asp .

About Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 works with Windows Server (TM) 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 to deliver best-in-class e-mail-based collaboration services that are highly secure, reliable and easy to access, enabling businesses to make decisions efficiently and compete more effectively. Exchange Server 2003 is part of the Windows Server System, Microsoft's comprehensive, integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that simplifies the development, deployment and operation of agile business solutions. Exchange Server 2003 is also a key component in enabling information worker scenarios as part of the Office System. More information on Exchange Server can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server 2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common software architecture that spans all facets of IT, from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business) and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows Server System, Windows, Active Directory, Outlook and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp

Partner Quote Sheet

"As the spam problem grows, customers are looking for greater protection at the perimeter, where e-mail and spam enters the messaging network. Brightmail and Microsoft have been collaborating on anti-spam protection on Exchange 2003 for more than a year now, and we are excited to continue the relationship around Exchange's new initiatives. Microsoft's new Exchange Edge Services, in conjunction with Brightmail's award-winning software, will provide a powerful spam defense for Exchange customers."

-- Enrique Salem
President and CEO
Brightmail

"Microsoft Exchange Server perimeter services is an interesting concept. We see plenty of opportunity for us to develop additional security technology on top of this platform, including offering multiple virus engine capability, HTML and exploit checking, and our patented Trojan & Executable Scanner, which can detect malicious executables without signature updates."

-- Nick Galea
CEO
GFI

"As threats from viruses, spam, inappropriate content and other malicious code attacks continue to plague businesses with increasing security problems, the need for secure content management has become more important than ever. Network Associates supports Microsoft's commitment to security, and intends to support Microsoft Edge Services with leading security technologies that will offer its customers the most comprehensive security available."

-- Robin Matlock
Vice President of Marketing for McAfee System Protection Solutions Group
Network Associates

"As a Microsoft partner we are genuinely excited about offering security support for Exchange Edge Services. We feel that it will be a landmark in e-mail management and security, and Panda Software is proud to support this by providing advanced technology in virus and intrusion prevention through its corporate solutions. Exchange Edge Services offers Microsoft partners like Panda Software a solid structure on which they can develop innovative and robust solutions to provide the best protection against Internet threats at the network perimeter."

-- Pedro Bustamante
Marketing Division Director
Panda Software

"Since inception, Sybari has supported Microsoft's security initiatives and their efforts in adding functional enhancements to Exchange Server. With the company's upcoming Exchange Edge Services, Microsoft customers using Sybari solutions will have an added level of protection from viruses and spam. Building on the expertise Sybari development has gained working the current SMTP event sink model, we will continue to support Microsoft platforms and users by delivering advanced security solutions."

-- Tom Buoniello
Vice President of Product Management
Sybari Software

"Symantec is dedicated to providing security solutions such as virus protection and spam prevention for existing and emerging enterprise messaging infrastructures. We welcome Microsoft's efforts to offer an extensible infrastructure enabling industry partners like Symantec to provide enterprise customers with protection against malicious threats, spam and other unwanted e-mail."

-- Greg Gotta
Vice President, Gateway and Network Security
Symantec

"For many years, Trend Micro has been a proponent of security technologies at the gateway, and see this kind of dedication and support from platform developers as a sign that we are all moving toward a more tightly integrated security model. Trend Micro looks forward to continuing our close working relationship with Microsoft to ensure the effective integration of our companies' products."

-- Richard Ku
Global Product Group Manager for Messaging Security
Trend Micro

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