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Next quarter, we will be releasing a new version of iHateSpam Server, which is currently code named “Ninja” (these are the types of codenames you get when you have sys admins working on products). It will be in two parts—an antispam version (which will be free for iHateSpam users under maintenance) and a full version with AV.

Now, Ninja reflects a lot of current thinking in the business: A) you shouldn’t trust all of your security needs to one vendor and c) that you need a layered security model in protecting your infrastructure.

If anything, you want a security framework that allows other stuff to be plugged in.

This is relevant given Microsoft’s recent decision buy Sybari Software , a smart move on their part. Sybari’s Antigen is a really nice product (we use it ourselves) and epitomizes this type of “framework” thinking. When you buy Antigen, you get a several engines for free in the product, and I believe you get the option of buying additional engines. So you aren’t tied into one antivirus platform, like Trend or Symantec. And you have a layered security model built into it, with the multiple engines. Then you can buy the Spam Manager which integrates with Antigen.

The result is powerful. Putting Antigen into a corporate network has the pleasing result that you really don’t get viruses (with some basic management on our part, we haven’t gotten one virus through email since we put in Antigen approximately 3 years ago).

So Microsoft gets to say “Hey, we’re not killing the industry, we are just offering a platform, which includes engines from our lovin’ partners like Sophos and CA”. They will, of course, include the GeCAD engine they bought or maybe provide it as an purchasable option. So they get to look like the Switzerland of the business.

This move was very sly on their part.

However, Antigen is, by industry standards, a wee bit long in the tooth. There’s a lot they could be doing, which they aren’t. And without spilling the beans, Ninja is the next evolution of thinking in message security. We basically took a blank page and created a new model for a messaging framework. The result is fairly spectacular.

Ninja is a framework type model like Sybari’s. It will include a couple of free antivirus products as well as antispam technology. Future versions will include content inspection, etc. However, it reflects a whole new breed of thinking in message security.

Standby for more. We’re excited about this release.

Alex Eckelberry