How can I prevent spam from getting through the Exchange server?

Tags:
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Outlook
Small Business Server
Spam
Spam filters
I am running Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Exchange 2003. My client workstations are receiving spam email with vulgar and inappropriate words in the subject and body of the message. I have implemented Microsoft Outlook rules on the workstation computers and have the spam filter settings at “high.” However, the spam continues to come through the filter. What can I configure on the Exchange server to prevent spam messages from getting through?

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Exchange Server 2003 with SP-2 includes the Intelligent Message Filter. You can enable a number of settings in there to help block spam. For example, you can add real-time black lists, you can add specific email addresses or domains to block or you can configure a generally smart filter to block messages based on a score rating. My personal preference is to move messages with a score of 4 to the users’ Junk EMail folder in Outlook, and a score of 6 or higher to outright reject (bounce). See the screen shot at http://brad.dinerman.com/techtips/TechTarget/IMF.gif for an example.

If you want even more functionality than Exchange natively provides, then you can purchase a third-party spam filter, whether it’s software-based and which integrates directly into Exchange, or whether it’s hardware-based and sits between Exchange Server and your fireall.

Examples of filters include:

GFI Mail Essentials (http://www.gfi.com/mes)
IronMail (http://www.securecomputing.com/index.cfm?skey=1612)
Sunbelt Software Ninja Email Security (http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Business/Ninja-Email-Security)
Postini (http:www.postini.com) – This is actually a hosted antispam service. It does not reside on your network.

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