Reading, UK — April 27, 2004 — With virus writers now using the .zip extension to attempt to wreak havoc on network security, organisations are considering the possibility of banning .zip files. Not realistic, says C2C Systems, a company that provides a range of e-mail lifecycle management software for Microsoft Exchange.
“.Zip files have value. The benefits lie in storage and bandwidth savings,” says Dave Hunt, CEO of C2C. “Their existence in company storage and e-mail systems is wide-spread, so it isn’t really practical to ‘ban’ them. And how would users treat legacy .zip files — would they be expected to extract them all and save them to disk or reattach to e-mails?”
C2C believes that the safety of .zip files lies in automation and content management. MaX Compression Enterprise, a C2C product, provides automated compression and decompression of e-mail attachments for Outlook, Outlook Web Access, Exchange Server and SMTP Gateway.
“The role of users is the key,” says Hunt, noting that C2C’s MaX Compression’s rule-set includes detailed security features that provide a warning of undesirable attachments such as .SCR, .PIF, .VBX. “When file compression and decompression is seamless and the content monitoring of .zips is automated, the users will be isolated from the virus. They are not put in the position of deciding whether to open a possibly infected file.”
“Banning .zip files because of the potential security threat they pose is like banning e-mail because it transmits spam and viruses,” agrees Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. “What is needed is a way to maintain the use of .zip files while ensuring that they do not contain harmful content, come from trusted senders and so forth.”
“In the ‘network administrator business,’ it is best just to protect the end user as much as possible, as transparently as possible,’ says Michael Cushard, Systems Engineer at Mobility Electronics. Cushard uses several different layers of virus/spam protection for Mobility’s e-mail and end user workstation environments, including automated zip-management from MaX Compression. “By the time the e-mail reaches a person’s inbox, it's been checked several times by several different products and can be assumed — with confidence — to be relatively benign.”
C2C (www.c2c.com) provides applications to optimize Microsoft Exchange system resources and reduce the legal risks associated with e-mail. C2C’s solutions for e-mail archiving, mailbox size management, search and discovery are used by three million users at more than 2,000 organizations worldwide. C2C, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, is headquartered in Reading, United Kingdom, with U.S. offices in Springfield, Mass, USA.
C2C Systems Ltd.
+44 (0) 118 951 1211
Laura Jean Whitcomb
Howling Beagle Communications
+1 (603) 863-7048
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