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Spam Filtering and Malware Protection for Businesses

Don’t let annoying floods of spam emails get to you. Spam and viruses don’t stand a chance against the best email spam filter on the market.

What is spam? Representing over 50% of all email traffic, spam is the most intrusive method cyber criminals use to introduce malware and viruses into corporate systems. But in additon to the danger of infection with ransomware, spyware or a cryptominer, important workflows can also be interrupted by the annoying flood of unwanted spam emails.

Why is a cloud-based spam filter so important for businesses?

Pulse8 Email Spam Filter and Malware Protection Service offers the highest detection rates on the market, with 99.9% guaranteed spam detection and 99.99% virus detection. Our Spam Filtering Service effectively protects mail servers against DDoS attacks and phishing emails. Our multi-layered spam filtering service blocks the majority of spam emails as they arrive—keeping the quarantine clear and easy to manage. With proven features and thorough spam filtering mechanisms, your inbox remains free of annoying spam emails.

Risk of DDoS attacks – Protection through email cloud security

The abbreviation DDoS stands for Distributed Denial Of Service. A DDoS attack is a type of DoS attack in which multiple hijacked systems are used to overload system resources or network bandwidths. This makes websites and online services unreachable. For companies, this often means large financial losses due to delivery bottlenecks, for example, and major damage to their image from the perspective of customers. DoS attacks are intercepted by Pulse8’s Hosted Spam Filtering and Malware Protection long before they reach the customer’s network. Parallel infrastructure distributed across multiple data centres and intelligent protection mechanisms ensure that authorised mail traffic continues to flow even in the face of massive waves of spam emails and DDoS attacks.

Phishing attacks continue to be widespread

A phishing attack is a digital identity theft. Hackers send fraudulent emails which, for example, imitate the look of well-known online service providers such as Amazon or PayPal or of well-known banks. If the personal data requested is entered on the phishing website, it is sent directly to the cyber criminals. With the help of link tracking and other techniques, the spam filter service effectively protects users from phishing emails. Among other things, reloadable malicious script commands are detected. This enables detection of dangerous drive-by downloads, for example.

The demands on IT administrators are growing

IT systems are becoming increasingly complex. Attacks on IT security are more frequent and more intelligent. Legal and regulatory requirements are increasing. At the same time, IT is becoming ever more closely intertwined with a company’s business, accompanying and supporting core processes. Spam and Malware Protection is a fully managed solution: Pulse8 is responsible for management, operation and monitoring (availability: 99.99%, availability class 4, contractually guaranteed). All information necessary for IT administrators is easy to find and clear, settings can be configured quickly with minimal effort.

Hosted Spam Filtering and Malware Protection at a glance – The Best Protection for Your Email Traffic

Infomail Filter

Newsletters that are not classified as spam and other infomails that unnecessarily interrupt your workflow are filtered out and kept for later retrieval. They can be released in the individual email Quarantine Reports.

Data Encryption

Encryption of the transmission path between mail processing systems of Pulse8 and the customer’s email system via TLS which prevents third parties from spying on email data during transmission.

Link Tracking

Incoming and outgoing emails are automatically scanned for malicious URLs. This prevents a user from clicking on a link to an infected page, downloading malware, or forwarding malicious links.

Phishing Filter

With the help of link tracking and other techniques, the spam filter service effectively protects users from phishing emails.

Auto virus updates

The virus filters are constantly updated and always current. Our own scanner, which specializes in viruses spread by email, is used among other things.

Outbound Filtering

Outgoing emails are also checked for spam and viruses to prevent the unintentional distribution of malware and spam emails from within your organisation.

Bounce Management

Bounce mail is the term used to describe messages automatically generated by mail servers that inform you about the absence of users or delays in delivery of emails, for example. Real bounces are useful. But bounces that reach a user because sender addresses have been forged are a problem. Pulse8 Bounce Management ensures that only genuine bounces reach the recipient in incoming mail traffic. Bounces in response to spam with fake sender addresses are reliably filtered out.

Virus Detection

Dynamic virus outbreak protection ensures new and previously unknown viruses are stopped by the early warning system. Pulse8 Email Security platform continuously analyzes and filters out incoming mails to so-called honeypot accounts (email addresses that are only intended to receive spam) for unusual attachments, links, senders or content. Derivation of signatures from this occurs within a very short response time, typically less than five minutes.

Spam detection

In addition to spam blocking, incoming emails must pass through multiple filter stages before they are either recognized as authentic emails and delivered to the customer’s mail server or placed in quarantine. The user can view quarantined messages through the Quarantine Report or on the control panel. Guaranteed 99.9% spam detection, less than 0.00015 false positives per clean mail, and 99.99% virus detection guaranteed by 18 independent virus and phishing spam filters.

Spam Filtering and Malware Protection – The easy way to observe compliance policies & regulations

Compliance Filter

Create specific rules for automated application to inbound and outbound email.

Audit Logs

Logins and changes to the control panel are logged indelibly and can be viewed by administrators.

Content filter for file attachments

Unwanted attachments can be rejected or quarantined. Adjustable content filter for unwanted attachments, protection against malware and enforcement of company policies. Adjustable size limitation of emails protects against impairment of the mail server and mail traffic due to excessive data volume.

Standardised SLA for availability and filter performance

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) describes the performance characteristics of the service, including the scope, quality, feedback from support and handling of a request within a specified time frame.

Hosted Spam Filtering and Malware Protection at a glance – The Best Protection for Your Email Traffic

Incoming emails go through two stages. The majority of spam emails are rejected at the blocking stage. The remaining emails move on to active analysis, where the email stream is cleaned by a variety of filter rules. The quarantine allows the user to check individual emails for which the classification is unclear.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is behind the Infomail filter?

Pulse8 security Technologies provide an optional propriety Bulk email, Newsletter filter called the Infomail filter.

The infomail filter is an aggressive filter that contains over 15,000 individual Bulk email and Newsletter heuristics, which can be triggered individually or indeed multiple heuristics can be triggered in tandem.

Generally Bulk emails and Newsletter are not fundamentally malicious in nature, but please be advised that the infomail filter does not differentiate between malicious Bulk email and Newsletters and genuine Bulk email and News letters, it is simply a filter that filters out all Bulk email and Newsletters, regardless if the sender reputation is positive. However, please note that a negative sender reputation will also be evaluated if user complaints have been upheld.

In addition, Pulse8 security also monitors all multi connection senders platform wide, monitoring specifically the number of simultaneous connections deriving from a given source within a short period and in some instances the aggressive and optional info-mail filter will define multi connection senders as Info-mail, which will on occasions inevitably cause some false positives. It is for that reason Pulse8 security has not deployed the Info-mail filter as a mandatory filter and therefore the info-mail filter remains an optional preference both at a customer level and individual user level.

Pulse8 security's Info-mail filter additionally contains some heuristics that are very similar in nature to platform wide spam filtering heuristics. That means on occasions whereby Pulse8 security's users have reported emails that they consider to be unsolicited via our control panel or Outlook plugin facility as info-mail, the mail signatures will be added to the Info-mail heuristics.

Why are Pulse8 security IP addresses listed at Backscatterer?

  1. What are backscatters?
    Backscatter emails are automatic responses via email (such as non-delivery reports, delivery confirmations and out-of-office notes), or so-called bounce messages. If the sender of the original email is faked, it can happen that said emails are delivered to innocent third parties.
  2. What is the backscatterer.org deny list?
    Backscatterer.org is a list that captures IPs that send the above mentioned email types with the goal of reducing backscatter spam. This is first a respectable goal, which could reduce the global spammail volume.
  3. Why are Pulse8 security IP addresses listed by backscatterer.org?
    First we distinguish between incoming and outgoing channel. Incoming: Pulse8 security takes all possible and necessary measures to identify incoming backscatter spam and to prevent it from spreading through various mechanisms. Incoming backscatter emails are effectively detected and rejected by the MTA before they are accepted within the SMTP channel. The following NDR is not generated by Pulse8 security and therefore cannot enrich backscatter further. Furthermore, Pulse8 security uses a specially developed bounce management, which distinguishes real from fake bounce messages, to provide the highest possible quality of incoming messages for service users. Outgoing: Let's take as an example an out-of-office notification that is triggered after a regular email to a service user is received. It is considered a "hit" for a recipient who uses the RBL Backscatterer as blacklist. The same applies to the other email types mentioned above.
  4. Does Pulse8 security request the removal of the own IP addresses from the blacklist of backscatterer.org?
    As your external email security provider we are obliged, even commissioned by you, to deliver the above mentioned outgoing email types to the sender. Therefore, Pulse8 security does not consider these emails as spam. The removal at the blacklist backscatterer.org can only be done for a fee, no matter if the sender actually disturbs the mail operation. Pulse8 security considers the blacklist-operator Backscatterer as dubious, as long as he also enriches himself with legitimate bounce messages and demands a fee for the activation.
  5. What can a service user of Pulse8 security do, if emails are rejected due to the blacklist of backscatterer.org?
    Whoever uses this blacklist to block, without softening the consequences of the compelling "false positives" through a whitelist, accepts intentionally or negligently that even legitimate emails will not reach him. The external communication partner should not use the blacklist of backscatterer.org as the only classification criterion.

    Our recommendation is not to use SMTP rejects for backscatterer hits, but to process them as softfail: e.g. quarantine, tagging or drop. But not to use a reject or bounce. This often prevents legitimate business transactions, which are extremely frustrating for end users. The configuration of a mail server is always a matter for the operator. We recommend our service users to contact the communication partner in order to perhaps achieve a configuration adjustment in a dialog.

How long are spam mails in the quarantine accessible via the spam report or the control panel?

The quarantined emails are kept for 90 days and can be retrieved via the spam report or directly in the control panel and delivered to your email address.

Can emails be incorrectly evaluated and blocked even though they are not spam?

This is theoretically possible, but it is extremely unlikely. This is then a so-called "false positive". Our technical department has determined the threshold values for spam detection in extensive and complex tests, so that our false positive rate is below 0.0004%. The threshold values are adjusted hourly to the requirements.

How is outbound spam being handled?

  1. What are backscatters?
    Will I get blocked for sending spam? Yes, sending spam causes temporary bans for the sending user, domain or IP.
  2. How will I be informed to be aware the presence of outbound spam?
    When spam sending from your mail server is being detected by our monitoring system, we will contact you via email shortly.
  3. Will you provide some evidence of outbound spam?
    Yes, we will send you details of the header of the outbound spam mail.
  4. Is there a list of anti-relay measures or guidance for customers?
    Keep an eye on your configuration: do not allow anyone to relay via your server and limit permissions to known IPs or accounts with SMTP-auth. Regarding generic accounts (webmaster, admin etc.) and use strong passwords.
  5. Does your service block the outbound spam?
    Virus emails are always blocked. If we detect suspicious mass mailings (monitoring the content, amount of unusual mail flow, unknown sender etc.) we manually take a look before we block the mails to avoid false positives e.g. blocking of legitimate newsletters send by our customers.
  6. Are all outbound emails tested for spam content?
  7. How can I get unblocked when being blocked for spam sending?
    You will be contacted when being blocked for outbound spam. Send your feedback on appropriate countermeasures that have been taken by the responsible person/admin in a reply to get your case re-investigated by a support agent.

When will another delivery attempt be made if my mail server is not available?

If your mail server is not available, the incoming emails are held in reserve by our service. A retry is first tried every minute, depending on the current performance. Afterwards, the clock rate is increased step by step, so that hours later it can be several minutes before a new delivery attempt is made. By the way, you can also access your emails during the outage via our Continuity Service. In addition, you have included a 3-month archiving service. If you are interested, you can find request more information here.