Notes, Domino get new MailMonitor

Detecting viruses at the desktop level has been the norm for enterprises looking to protect their environments. Although not the first company to do this, Sophos Inc. has developed a new version of its MailMonitor product to detect virus attacks where one analyst said you need it most – at the gateway.

The Wakefield, Mass.-based company last month released MailMonitor for Notes/Domino, gateway antivirus software for users of Lotus Notes/Domino R4.5, R4.6x and R5.

MailMonitor for Notes/Domino operates in three modes. The product scans Notes databases immediately for viral attachments including worms, and trojan horses; scans Notes databases at user-configurable scheduled times; and intercepts and scans e-mail attachments as they are sent and received to offer real-time protection.

“Everything we do is antivirus related,” said Ralph Pisani, director of business development for Sophos. “This (version) is more up-to-date with Lotus’ most recent release: R5. This is a product that will not only deal with traffic going into an organization, but also (with) the mail folders of employees within. It is going to deal with messages being sent from employee to employee inside of a company as well as mail coming in and out of a company.”

Pisani said that MailMonitor essentially acts as an alert system and can be set in various ways to notify that a virus has been found. He said that the solution automatically alerts administrators upon receipt of virus-infected e-mails and the sender and recipient of the infected e-mail can also be notified.

“We subscribe to a multi-layer defence strategy,” Pisani said. “We have always maintained that the last line of defence for an organization is at the desktop level. It is wise to have protection at the gateway as well as the desktop. It is a lot less work for the administrator if they can catch (viruses) at the front door.”

And, catching viruses before they hit the desktop is something that Jan Sundgren said is very important. Sundgren, an industry analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga Information Group, said that there has been a trend for several years to move or supplement antivirus software on the network by putting the software on more centralized points in the network, including the gateway.

“You are scanning what is coming in and you are scanning what might be circulating within your network,” Sundgren said. “The reason why antivirus has moved to the servers is because it is easier to update a more centralized server with new virus definitions.”

Because recent months have seen several businesses struck by e-mail viruses, such as Nimda and Sircam, Sophos said its customers are looking for a solution that will ease their minds and the minds of their employees.

“That is the reason we came out with this product,” Pisani said. “(Support for Notes/Domino) is what our customers wanted.”

Sophos Mail Monitor for Notes/Domino is available now and pricing for up-to-50-user license starts at US$1,175. Sophos does not ship a consumer-based product. For more information, visit the company on the Web at