Google Takes Aim At E-Mail

Last fall, Google acquired e-mail security service provider Postini to help position its online applications as serious and secure business tools.

Yesterday, the search and online application giant announced new e-mail security and archiving products branded as “Powered by Postini.” The new tools are designed to eliminate spam and viruses, protect against internal information leaks and retain e-mails to meet compliance requirements. The services are aimed at businesses of all sizes and are especially well-suited for small businesses, according to Sundar Raghavan, a product marketing manager at Google.

Raghavan said the new offerings address three levels of security that small businesses need to think about. “First, you must defend against things beyond your control — any external threat,” he said. Google Message Filtering, which costs $3 per user per year (yes, year, not month), is designed to address this by filtering spam, viruses and other e-mail threats.

Google eDiscovery
Google Message Discovery lets you archive and retrieve data for e-discovery purposes.

Google Message Security
Filter inbound e-mail with Google Message Security.

The second type involves internal data leaks and compliance violations. “An employee might have good intentions and think, ‘let me send this customer file to my home e-mail address.”

The employee may not know he is breaking company policy. Google Message Security is designed to address this need. It costs $12 a year and includes Google Message Filtering and adds enhanced virus detection, outbound processing and content policy management.

The third area of concern is compliance and e-discovery. “Many small business don’t have a content policy and aren’t even aware that things like Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and HIPAA apply to them too.” For businesses that need to ensure they can comply federal regulations, today’s news includes Google Message Discovery, which costs $25 per user per year.

It includes Google Message Security and a year of message data archiving (you can buy additional years separately), retention and discovery. It’s aimed at companies looking to reduce security exposure, and improve legal discovery readiness and message compliance.

Raghavan said that Google’s new security services work with any mail system, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. He said it also works with IM services. “IM users register using their screen name at AIM or Yahoo and information is captured for e-discovery purposes and maps to their e-mail addresses.”

“This is something we’ve [Postini] always wanted to do, but can do only through Google because of its scale,” Raghavan said. “We’ve taken something complex, simplified it and offered in an affordable price.”

The new “Powered by Postini” packages are part of the Google Apps platform and are available directly from Google, and, according to the company, can be deployed within hours.

Dan Muse is executive editor of’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

Article courtesy of Small Business Computing

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