IT security firm Sophos has announced the launch of its ES1000 Email Security Appliance, extending its range of IT security hardware solutions.

Ideally suited for organisations with fewer than 1 000 employees, the ES1000 is an intelligent and easy-to-manage email security appliance that blocks malware, potentially unwanted applications and spam from entering the network via the e-mail gateway.

With IDC predicting that the amount of  daily spam emails circulating will increase from 23-billion in 2004 to 42-billion in 2008 (Source: IDC’s  Worldwide Secure Content Management 2005-2009 Forecast Update), e-mail security continues to command a large portion of corporate IT security budgets.

Experts at Sophos expect collaboration between spammers and malware authors to continue to increase, with a growing proportion of spam containing links to infected websites.

Sophos currently identifies more than 5 000 infected URLs each day, posing considerable risk to businesses that do not have full-time network security administration.

The ES1000 gives these organisations a cost-effective and easy-to-install hardware solution, designed to secure the gateway and shield them from all emerging email threats, with minimal administrative effort.

Benefits of the ES1000 include:

* Automatically updated malware protection;

* Anti-spam engine that averages a 98,9% capture rate;

* Innovative 24-hour system 'heartbeat' monitoring;

* Remote assistance to ensure uptime and reduce administration;

* Secure web-based management console; and

* Access to message forensics, in-depth statistical reports and predictive metrics on system capacity and availability.

Designed with ease-of-use and maximum protection in mind, Sophos's ES1000 requires little human intervention, while Behavioral Genotype protection allows for superior proactive blocking of new and unknown threats.

Supported by SophosLabs, Sophos's global network of analysis centres, updates for the email security appliance are available every five minutes to ensure up-to-the-minute protection.

"Email security is still a top priority, particularly in light of the growing complexity of threats such as Trojan downloaders, image spam and stock scams," says Brett Myroff, CEO of master Sophos distributor, NetXactics.

"The reality is that many smaller companies don't always have the resources to justify dedicated IT security expertise, which can often leave security solutions out-of-date and vulnerable to attack. The ES1000 has been designed with these organisations in mind, defending the gateway against all unwanted or malicious email without the hassle of continued management and maintenance," he says.

The ES1000 package includes unlimited 24-hour phone, email and online support, 365 days a year.