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Roping Off Quarantines in the Gateway

Security software vendor McAfee is pooling quarantine queues from its appliances to make them more manageable for administrators.

The McAfee Quarantine Manager is a free add-on component to the Secure Messaging Gateway and Secure Internet Gateway appliances. It provides a central repository for questionable e-mails that hit a corporate network -- spam, viruses, potentially unwanted programs and, in some cases, legitimate e-mail wrongly marked as spam.

Quarantines are another protective step from false positives, or e-mail that is mistakenly marked as spam and jettisoned to the digital trash can. Instead of automatically deleting what could be an important sales invoice or a valid marketing message, the system places them in a queue that users and administrators can access and rescue from oblivion.

The quarantine manager helps end-users browse through their quarantine file to find e-mails they mistakenly marked as spam. It also sets up and manages whitelists, e-mail addresses that are specifically allowed to go right to the inbox, and blacklists, which are specific e-mail addresses automatically blocked.

End-users can peruse their quarantine by either logging in and sifting through the e-mails in an Outlook-like environment or they can receive a daily spam digest of all the messages received during the day.

For e-mail server administrators it's a time-saver, providing a central management center for all quarantined e-mail on its appliances.

"Secure Messaging Gateway has a built-in hard drive and built-in quarantine, which is perfectly adequate for smaller businesses that need only one appliance," said Jack Marsal, McAfee senior product marketing manager. "If you need more than one, you're dealing with multiple boxes and multiple quarantines, so this centralized quarantine facility aggregates all of the quarantines onto as scalable a server as you want."

The quarantine manager is now available to customers on McAfee's Web site.