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IBM offers new e-mail defense

Security service aims to stop spam and viruses before they get inside a company's network.

IBM on Friday unveiled an e-mail service meant to stop viruses and spam before they get inside a company's network.

The new E-mail Security Management Services technology, based on work done by e-mail security firm MessageLabs, monitors inbound and outbound messages outside a company's network to help prevent uncontrolled distribution of harmful and unwanted content, IBM said.

The managed service uses a combination of scanning and predictive technology to detect viruses, and an image filter to weed out lewd and otherwise unwanted pictures. Likely spam messages are quarantined before they can build up in a company's internal storage, IBM said.

Spam and viruses are taking a toll on businesses, clogging network resources, disrupting employees' work and even knocking companies completely offline. Last year's MyDoom, which propagated itself with millions of messages loaded with malicious software code ravaged a large number of computers around the world.

Pricing of the new product is determined according to a company's computing setup and other factors worked out with IBM. The service is available now worldwide.