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The following article outlines seven tips on how to effectively use anti spam and anti virus protection for your network. This information will help you secure your home and office networks and could in the long run save you money in potential recovery costs. The author also gives several useful links to help you implement these steps and keep you protected.

Seven Tips for Securing Your Organization's Network from Spam and Email Viruses

By Todd Green

Providing security against email related threats has become a burden for most IT professionals in 2006. According to a recent study by Postini, spam and email viruses now make up to 80% of all emails sent out as compared to 50% in 2000.
As a result, IT professionals now face a tougher challenge in providing network security for this amount of spam. IT professionals also have the disadvantage of defending against new forms of email threats such as spam zombies, directory harvest attacks, mass mailing trojans, as well as the latest email virus. In this article, I have listed the seven most effective spam fighting tips for organizations with in-house mail servers. These seven tips are proven techniques I have used for my customers, partners and associates who wish to tighten their perimeter (network) security.

1. Firewall:

A firewall is your first line of defense against hackers, crackers, and spammers. Without a firewall, your network is a disaster waiting to happen and could give any novice hacker free reign over your network. If your organization has multiple Internet users, this tool is essential for securing your network.

2. Block Port 25:
On your firewall, allow outbound traffic on TCP port 25 for all mail servers. Block traffic on outbound TCP port 25 for all other computers and servers. On the Internet, TCP port 25 is used for email traffic through SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol). Blocking this port is a good security practice and prevents mass mailing worms and spam zombies from sending mail from your users. computers.

3. Managed Email Filtering:
Consider using a managed filtering solution such as Postini, Brightmail, or SpamSoap. Managed Email Filtering services quarantine spam, viruses, and email threats before reaching the email servers on your network. In comparison to desktop filters and server appliances, managed filtering services provide superior perimeter (network) protection by preventing delivery of spam and viruses to your network and servers.

4. Check Relay Setting:
A mail server.s relay setting controls which computers and servers are able to send SMTP email on your organization.s behalf. Check your settings and limit the IP address range to email users on your local network. Some mail servers have settings to limit email relay through authentication. If authentication-based relay is available, setup and configure it too. NOTE: If the relay is not set properly, spammers will be able to send email from your mail server. This exploit is commonly known as an .Open Relay. or a .Spam Relay.. Use the Open Relay test at http://www.abuse.net/relay.htm to check if spammers can relay mail from your server.

Articled continued: Tips 4 - 7