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Blue Coat defends email in first launch after Bain buyout

Firms tackles phishing and malware as Microsoft moots similar release.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The security vendor Blue Coat has launched Mail Threat Defense in the first major release since its acquisition by Bain Capital.

The product will screen messages before they are delivered in a bid to remove malicious content without disrupting communication, informed by the firm’s intelligence network which takes in data from 15,000 enterprises.

Customers of the service will be also able to adjust the risk they are willing to tolerate, allowing them to customise it to suit the sensitivity of their job.

Hugh Thompson, CTO of Blue Coat, said: "As email phishing and other malware schemes grow increasingly sophisticated and deceptive, even the most well-meaning, cautious employees can be fooled into clicking, leading enterprises to seek additional protection for this critical but sometimes overlooked threat vector."

Emails are proving to be an important choke point for cyberattacks in the enterprise, with a Verizon report from last year showing that 80% of advanced cyberespionage campaigns are spread through email.

Hackers can use phishing emails to steal user logins or attachments to deliver malware to a system, and often go to great lengths to conceal the intention of their messages.

"The majority of work communication happens over email," Thompson said.

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"The more messages you receive, the less amount of time you may devote to reading each message thoroughly, and if you’re using a mobile device, the greater risk of being duped."

Such is the interest that Microsoft has announced plans to extend protection over the email component of its Office 365 service, with the launch mooted for this summer.

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