Microsoft yesterday said it will ship improved anti-spam and antivirus technologies in Exchange Server 2003.
The move will allow software partners to integrate their own anti-spam products and provide better content filtering with fewer false positives.
The anti-spam tool in Exchange 2003 will allow partner programs to scan incoming email messages and attach a score - or Spam Confidence Level, based on a threshold set by an administrator - to each message, indicating the probability that the message is spam.
The message will then be forwarded to either the recipient's inbox or junk mail folder.
"Microsoft's philosophy is to stop viruses and spam at the network perimeter, keeping end users focused on the task at hand," said Kevin McCuistion, director of Exchange marketing and business development at Microsoft.
"We have provided a solid baseline of functionality in the core Exchange 2003 product and now, with these two tools partners, can provide an additional layer of security."
In addition, the company's updated virus-scanning application program interface (VSAPI 2.5) includes features that enable partners to integrate complementary programs for attacking computer viruses.
VSAPI 2.5 will allow Microsoft's software partners to develop antivirus products that scan email messages at the entry point of customers' networks, to catch malicious content before it reaches the Exchange mailbox server.
The virus-scanning API can also prevent infected email from leaving an organisation by scanning outgoing mail.
It will give antivirus products more options to delete infected messages and automatically send a warning message back to the sender that a virus was detected and the email was deleted, to help prevent further spreading.
"We know customers' pain. Security and privacy are more important than ever right now and. Exchange and its industry partners have to offer an end-to-end solution that will help fend off security threats at the gateway, on the mailbox server and at an end user's mailbox," McCuistion said.
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