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Agnitum Directions (September 2008)

  • Product reminder
    Free Spam Terrier 2.0 – the first month on the market
  • Product plans
    A sneak peak at Outpost Network Security 3.0 – proactive protection for office PCs
  • Reviews and awards
    Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 – still collecting awards
  • Ultimate Offer
    Get WinRAR with 25% off!

Dear Readers,

This autumn starts on a cheerful note for the Agnitum team as our flagship product continues its global winning streak. Late August and early September brought new yet more awards for Outpost Firewall Pro. In the meantime, our developers are working hard to bring Outpost Network Security up to the same high standards of proactive protection for networked PCs as Outpost Pro products do for home PCs. Look for more news on this exciting new project over the next several months. You'll also find below a reminder of our small but powerful anti-spam solution and how well the latest version is doing. All this in Agnitum Directions for September 2008!

As always, we appreciate your feedback, so please use our web mail form or blog to send us your comments and opinions!

Free Spam Terrier 2.0 – the first month on the market

Released on August 27, 2008, free Spam Terrier 2.0 has already generated a great number of downloads! In case some of you are not yet familiar with the new version, here's a brief reminder of its major features and benefits:

As with Spam Terrier 1.0, the new version provides a user-friendly interface and easy customization to help you get started with teaching the software your personal definition of spam. Then the self-learning engine, based on Bayesian principles, takes over, ensuring significantly fewer false positives and wrongly-categorized messages.

The more you train (use) Agnitum Spam Terrier, the better its nose for inappropriate mail becomes. This is achieved through a system of "spam scores", which classify a message as "not spam", "probable spam" or "definite spam" according to a whole range of different characterizations.

Spam Terrier is fully compatible with all Windows operating systems from 2000 onwards, including Windows Vista and its built-in mail client Windows Mail.

Here's what's new in version 2.0:

New support for The Bat!
After installing Spam Terrier, your The Bat! window will display two basic commands -"mark as spam" and "mark as non-spam", as well as the black/whitelist menu. These tools will help The Bat! users to easily define benign and malicious messages, ensuring that before long, spam will surely get lost on its way to your inbox.

New support for 64-bit Microsoft email clients
Spam Terrier 2.0 now supports all 64-bit email programs from Microsoft: Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail.

More effective filtering algorithm
By creating specific libraries of email samples, managing current statistics and archiving obsolete knowledgebase data, Spam Terrier 2.0 enables faster and more accurate decision-making.

Automatic base tuning
In the majority of cases, your mailbox contains an unequal mixture of spam and legitimate messages, with either the former or – sometimes - the latter predominating. To prevent this bias from impacting the engine's learning efficiency, Spam Terrier 2.0 balances the number of samples examined by choosing an equal number of both types of message.

Spam awareness evolves over time
As spam evolves, the product's knowledgebase will ensure Spam Terrier 2.0 keeps pace with the changes, performing its own analysis of “new” and “odd” spam samples to extend and update the database.

Spam Terrier 2.0 is available at no charge and can be downloaded from the Agnitum website.

Outpost Network Security 3.0 now in beta – an interview with Chief Architect Alexey Belkin

Alexey Belkin, Chief Software Architect at Agnitum, shares his views on computer security for the business market and talks a little about the new enterprise-level Outpost Network Security 3.0, now in beta.

Q: Alexey, how do you rate the global corporate demand for security software and what are the prospects for Agnitum in this market?

AB: The leading vendors' experience reveals a continuing high demand for IT security within enterprises, both commercial and governmental. The need to comply with international standards for data protection and to make a comprehensive array of tools available to skilled system administrators, as well as increased awareness of web-borne threats (the vendors' accomplishment, to a large extent) have all played a significant role.

From a technical perspective, it should be noted that the corporate market and system administrators don't need a random mix of home-user solutions, but a flexible security toolbox with centralized administration that's designed for their specific environments. Agnitum first introduced such a solution to the market a few years ago, originally under the name of Outpost Office Firewall and later renamed Outpost Network Security.

Outpost Network Security, which is still actively used in many countries is in fact a modification of Agnitum's personal firewall with antispyware protection, Outpost Firewall Pro. Our current goal is to implement the entire functionality of the all-in-one consumer product Outpost Security Suite Pro 2009 into the new network product by the end of this year. The product is expected to include a personal firewall, host protection, antivirus, antispyware, and web control.

Q: What are the main principles of this product? Does a corporate PC user have any freedom of decision-making when it comes to the security of his PC?

AB: Naturally, the configuration and decision-making are focused on the administrator's side. The user interface doesn't provide any administrative settings or additional features. The product's architecture covers the following elements:

  • Agnitum server — provides update files for loading;
  • local update server — downloads updates from Agnitum server and distributes them to the local PCs;
  • local configuration server — ensures interaction between users and allocates individual configurations to them;
  • management console — controls local update and configuration servers and can be connected to the configuration server via the network;
  • client module — protects the clients' PCs against malware and implements the centrally–generated configuration.

The client module itself doesn't require the user's involvement but makes decisions automatically. The administrator can easily change any of the rules by manipulating the client's PC settings. This means the user needs to make very few, if any, decisions about security, while the administrator is free to monitor security across the network using Outpost's centrally-generated rules and detailed logs.

Q: So the system administrator controls almost everything. Are the same rules applied to everyone, or is there an option to create customized settings according to user type?

AB: Yes, we've built in flexibility regarding rules distribution and security level adjustments. This is covered in the individual set of properties for each PC registered to the network. The administrator can also track application activity in real time via the management console as well as receive information about the most recent updates on every single PC. This prevents the malware detection against obsolescence and helps avoid other policy-related issues.

Q: Will the new Outpost Network Security include any functionality not in Outpost Security Suite Pro 2009?

AB: Apart from the changes necessitated by the network-security orientation, there will be a number of useful functions for systems administrators such as a dedicated USB-storage check and rules for the operation of such devices'. The demand for this function stems from the tremendous proliferation of portable storage devices, their use in business and to transfer data to home PCs.

Q: Does Outpost Network Security 3.0 have the same compatibility parameters as the home-user suite?

AB: Yes, the new version of Outpost Network Security is compatible with all Windows platform from Windows 2000 onwards. Besides, as is tradition at Agnitum, both 32- and 64-bit version are supported.

Q: Thanks, Alexey! And good luck with the new product!

Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 - still collecting awards

This September we are happy to boast of the success of our standalone Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 in receiving awards from the ProtectStar Test Lab in the US / Germany and from WebUser magazine in the UK.

Over its lifetime, the company's flagship product has collected more than 50 awards in 15 countries. Released in July of this year, Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 started out with a 99% leakproof result in the Matousec Transparent Security tests and continues its winning streak across Europe and the US.

The UK's best-selling Internet magazine, Web User, awarded Outpost a Gold Medal in its recent firewall comparison tests. Agnitum's standalone firewall beat out four leading competitors – both paid and free software – to gain top place.

The magazine's verdict was: "Although using this software will force you to dip into your pocket, we think the best security is worth paying for, especially when it's still good value and you're getting the benefits of ease of use and extra features."

The full version of the review is available on the magazine's website.

During the summer of 2008, ProtectStar Test Lab, an independent IT- and communication security organization with offices in the US, UK and Germany, carried out in-depth testing on eight standalone firewall solutions offered by leading manufacturers. The coveted ProtectStar 2008 award was given to Outpost Firewall Pro 2009.

According to a number of testing criteria, Outpost demonstrated its excellence in protection capabilities and usability. The product outstripped such prominent competitors as Zone Alarm Pro and Sunbelt Personal Firewall.

The test report is available in German from the ProtectStar website (PDF).

Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 is available at http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpost/

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In conclusion

This autumn, like others before it, is shaping up to be a hectic and productive time for Agnitum. We are developing something totally new in terms of Internet security and we appreciate your help and encouragement with this. Meanwhile, we continue to protect you from existing dangers with our current products, Outpost Firewall Pro, Outpost Antivirus Pro and Outpost Security Suite Pro 2009. So relax while Agnitum takes care of your security!!

With best wishes,
Your Agnitum team

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