Trend Micro’s Hybrid Hosted Service

Trend Micro takes an unusual approach with its hosted/managed/in-the-cloud email security service. Rather than trying to do everything, it sticks to what a service is good at.

Trend is applying the 80/20 rule. It promotes a hybrid approach, with the hosted service implementing only a first level of spam filtering based on reputation. This filters roughly 80% of the inbound spam. The remaining email is passed on to spam filtering appliances on the customers' premises, to deal with the other 20%.

The on-premise appliance can therefore be more easily customized to conform to local policy. When it comes to filtering spam using content, it's best to have an understanding of the types of legitimate content that the organization sends and receives. The obvious example is medical organizations, which may well expect to receive email about a certain blue pill whose name begins with V.

Of course, organization-specific customization can be done in the cloud. There's nothing intrinsic about it that forces it to be on-premise, but this split in responsibilities seems to have merit.

... Richi Jennings

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