SAFENTRIX is a cloud based hosted email security service that provides spam and virus filtering for incoming emails and now provides that same protection on all outgoing emails, too. It’s Carizen Software's foray into the SaaS (Software as a Service) arena.

Carizen (formerly ICSoft) was founded in 1998 to provide messaging and network security infrastructure based on open source solutions. The company, which is headquartered in Chennai, is in fact one of the first that spotted the need to push Linux in a viable commercial proposition and is right now the only Linux company in India that has multiple support locations.

Their Rainmail Intranet Server aims to get corporate customers could using Linux and is still the backbone of sales at Carizen, though many more products have been launched. With its powerful Rainmail Intranet Server Pack, clients can get the optimal solution for mail server, proxy server, file/web server, dial-in server and is even specialized in Virtual Private Network Server.

Mr. Srikrishnan Chitoor, a founder and member of the Board of Directors and Chief Architect of SAFENTRIX says that their hosted e-mail security solution, which is their latest service, could provide peace of mind for any business or organization worried about misused email servers and states that with the majority of spam coming from compromised email servers, outbound email security is extremely important.

Mr. Chitoor who has a B. Tech from IIT Madras at Chennai and a MSc from University of Delaware is a versatile technical manager, experienced in 'software product development' and responsible for day-to-day operations at Carizen.

According to Mr. Chitoor the real value of SAFENTRIX lies in the fact that it makes email security plug-n-play. All the current solutions are not only paid, but involve a lot of manual administration to maintain, as actually all e-mail security solutions maintain a quarantine or SPAM folder, which users or administrators have to go through manually to identify the genuine messages.

SAFENTRIX however avoids this issue by eliminating quarantine altogether, ensuring that Carizen’s email security solution is easily implemented even in small organizations. The fact that their Standard Edition is available for users who do not mind third part advertisements means that an organization can get email security absolutely free.

Indeed SAFENTRIX's free and easy set up service that on top requires no maintenance has garnered a lot of users so far. By simply changing the DNS infrastructure, SAFENTRIX can be implemented in as quickly as 3 hours as e-mail servers, clients, user accounts and passwords all remain the same. According to the company it delivers the following features:

  • 99%+ effective spam protection
  • 100% virus protection
  • New technical approach makes the security solution nearly maintenance free
  • aves up to 40% of email bandwidth costs
  • Near zero false positives, genuine emails can always reach the users
  • Protects against malware and phishing emails
  • Zero hour protection
  • Uses seven different layers of spam protection
  • Supports up to 20,000 users per domain
  • Supports sub-domains
  • Cloud based / no hardware or software required from user side
  • Simple three step setup process
  • Compatible with all modern email servers
  • No quarantine to maintain or scan
  • Control panel secured with high grade encryption
  • Multiple layers of security and attack notification
  • Premium service and free service available
  • Geographically dispersed network with multiple redundant email servers

SAFENIX is in general available in a standard and an enterprise edition. The Standard Edition is free for up to 20,000 users and is supported by third party advertisements. The Enterprise Edition offers 100% SLA and compliance with corporate laws and standards (HIPAA, GLB, etc.)

When asked what it takes to build, provide and market his service, Mr. Chitoor explains that SAFENTRIX relies on cloud computing to deliver email security, which ensures that investment can be scaled up depending on demand. As client demand for instance goes up, resources can be scaled up rapidly as it takes only 10 minutes for SAFENRIX to serve an additional 5000 users. In addition, faults can be rectified by fully replacing cloud instances.

However, choosing an appropriate cloud service provider wasn’t so easy he says: “After trying out Amazon, Gogrid and Rackspace, we settled on Rackspace Cloud (formerly MOSSO). “The main challenge for the SAFENTRIX team was to understand the implications of cloud computing. We found that cloud computing is a paradigm shift in how applications are developed and deployed, as one has to actually “think” in the cloud”, he explained. What seems to be a trivial process in the normal application development therefore becomes quite complex in the cloud and vice-versa.

Launched just a year ago, SAFENTRIX still has low brand awareness and tackles the challenge to promote their service to the right target audience. It’s currently marketed actively through online campaigns (like Yahoo! and Google) and through a network of partners. SAFENTRIX managed to grow over the last year from zero to more than 20,000 active users in countries including US, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore. “We expect this trend to continue and reach 100,000 users in a year,” Mr. Chitoor revealed, adding that they aim to be the hosted e-mails security solution of choice to organizations with market share in the top three in the future. Given the widespread recessionary global conditions, Carizen expects that organizations will spend more on e-mail marketing, as it gives, if done right, the best ROI compared to other online marketing measures. But although security vendors are in general doing a good job and awareness amongst users has gone up, he expects to see more sophisticated attacks in the future and here mainly threats that combine social engineering, program vulnerabilities and stealth technologies. So, threats will be less than before, but they will be more sophisticated and have a higher impact on users. Mr. Chitoor predicts further that the threats will target more end user vulnerabilities, like weak passwords etc., rather than software vulnerabilities, which are patched quickly.

“Email marketing is an exciting and happening field to be in”, says SAFENTRIX’s Chief Architect. “There are many technologies which make it easy to use, increase the deliverability and make it highly effective. However, there is still some lack of credibility due to issues of SPAM and unscrupulous operators”, he added. Carizen believes that the technology that will make the most impact in email marketing is the one that gives the medium itself some "credibility" and removes the trust gap. This is where he sees their service come into operation and where it triggers a turning point - SAFENTRIX eliminates the stigma of SPAM from email marketing and thus makes it more credible.

Carizen is convinced that email marketing is here to stay because of its attractive ROI. If the trust gap is filled the industry will grow.

By Daniela La Marca