16 April 2013

New SmartRules® DLP prevents email distribution of confidential information

New Zealand-owned cloud email security and hosting company SMX has launched an inbound and outbound email security product – SmartRules® DLP – designed to safeguard confidential information against unauthorized email distribution.

SmartRules® DLP (Data Loss Prevention) is one of a number of new service improvements currently being rolled out by SMX, following research and development support from Callaghan Innovation – the crown entity formed to foster technology innovation. 

SMX’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Thom Hooker, says the R&D funding has enabled SMX to accelerate software development in several key areas. He says SmartRules® DLP has been given urgent priority, following the recent security breaches experienced by Government organizations. 

“SMX is the leading cloud email security solution used by Government organizations with around 60 Government sector customers,” Thom Hooker says. “SmartRules® DLP meets the most stringent compliance requirements with easy-to-use rule building and related compliance processes. 

“Email makes it very easy for employees to accidentally – or intentionally – send sensitive documents to recipients outside the organization,” Hooker says. “By deploying SMX's SmartRules® DLP, customers can define rules to block and report on employees attempting to send sensitive documents externally. SmartRules® DLP can be configured to detect visible data as well as scanning for hidden metadata. The use of hidden metadata tags inside documents makes it harder for users to subvert DLP rules looking for visible text – that is, by changing the document name.” 

Hooker says SMX's SmartRules® DLP can also detect sensitive content embedded in archives – such as .zip, .rar, .tar, .gz, and so on – and can be configured to block emails containing archives that cannot be opened – for example, password protected or unknown document types.

Another significant new enhancement to the SMX Cloud Email Security Suite, Hooker says, will be beefing up the SMX email hosting platform with enterprise-grade security, reliability and new features. SMX will offer 100 percent availability, as well as enterprise-ready tools such as shared calendars, online data storage similar to Dropbox, global address books and support for ActiveSync to sync contacts, emails and calendars with mobile devices.

Also underway is the implementation of the Cassandra distributed database platform. Originally developed and open sourced by Facebook but now part of the Apache stable of open source products, Cassandra enables industry-leading availability guarantees for customer emails with seamless failover to another rack or datacenter in the event of failure. 

SMX’s vice president of global sales, Tiaan Blaauw, says the increased footprint of the SMX Cloud Email Security Suite means resellers and market partners will be able to offer the same ease of use as provided by Google and Microsoft Office 365, but with important advantages for end users and resellers. 

“Essentially, the SMX Cloud Email Security Suite will provide an email security and hosting solution ‘in a box’ which IT service providers, Telcos and ISPs can deploy to their customers, under their own brand, within 30 days and on existing infrastructure, as a turnkey multi-tenanted subscription business service. 

“We will also compete on price. That means more generous margins for resellers than offered by Google or Microsoft Office 365. Resellers can integrate the SMX service with their existing services to customers, preserving ownership of the customer relationship. It also means better value for end customers who, at no price penalty, can get a flexible range of business email services to suit their needs, with the services priced accordingly.

“Our feedback from customers, IT service providers, market partners and resellers is clear and consistent,” Blaauw says. They obviously want a highly secure and highly accurate cloud service. But they also want it to be locally hosted and locally serviced. And they want it to be quick and easy to deploy and easy to manage,” Blaauw says.

“The new enhancements to our service strengthen our ability to deliver on all of these requirements. Increasingly important – particularly in New Zealand, Australia and Japan – is that we deploy in the customer's own country. This means no risk of international connectivity issues leaving customers without access to their data. It means response times are much quicker, and it means customer data is not subject to foreign laws and jurisdictions because their data doesn't leave their home territory.”