Content Control Tools for Exchange Server

Last reviewed on August 5, 2013

These add-ins, mostly for Microsoft Exchange Server, control the content of incoming and outgoing messages with a variety of techniques:

  • Filtering attachments
  • Filtering junk mail
  • Filtering for objectionable content

Some are direct add-ins for Exchange Server; others operate externally on Internet mail going into and out of the server. Many combine content control with virus scanning, archiving and related functions.

The whole idea of monitoring e-mail for “objectionable” content makes me nervous. I think a clear, enforceable corporate e-mail policy and ongoing user education comprise the best approach to ensuring proper use of e-mail. However, the market apparently disagrees, or there wouldn’t be such a growing number of products in this area. On the other hand, filtering for obvious spam and undesired attachment types (like the .vbs files propagated by the ILOVEYOU virus), is a feature that every organization can put to good use.

The tools listed below are server tools; for personal junk mail filtering and content control, see Rules to filter junk mail – Other Tools.

Microsoft released its Microsoft Exchange Intelligent Message Filter for Exchange 2003 in May of 2004. Several vendors are planning products to complement Microsoft’s offering.

To add disclaimers to outgoing email, see Disclaimer and Signature Tools

Tools in the Spotlight

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro
CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro goes beyond standard Hub Transport email rules on Microsoft Exchange 2007 or 2010 and lets you fully control email flow, filter messages and add signatures and branding to email. It is easier to use than Exchange native tools and it gives you everything Exchange offers, and also a lot of new features Exchange admins consider as a must-have. Quickly create group forward rules, auto-responders, filter messages, control email content, rewrite sender's addresses, tag messages, add signatures and disclaimers, and much more.

Discovery Attender

An electronic discovery tool specifically designed to perform dynamic keyword searches in Exchange mailboxes, PST files and common file storage areas. Discovery Attender can automatically execute scans of message subject, body and attachments through customizable search criteria. Content searches are transparent to end-users and can be targeted to specific groups or users. Once critical information is located, it can be moved or copied to a secure location.

Mail Attender

Mail Attender provides comprehensive content management in PST files (personal storage folders) on desktops/servers, mailboxes and public folders. With MA Enterprise, administrators can distribute/enforce common policies, archive data and search content in multiple information stores from a central web interface. Also, can track statistical information such as total message/attachment count, size and type while tracking usage of individual users. Works with Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007.

Tools

CodeTwo Attach Unblocker

Use CodeTwo Attach Unblocker to configure Microsoft Outlook to allow the openig of the attachments blocked by default (for example, .exe, .url, .reg). The program is an Outlook extension; its settings are available at the property sheet in the Outlook options, which ensures quick and convenient editing. Supports all versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2010 64-bit

Data Publisher for Outlook & SharePoint

Data Publisher add-in provides a means to bring your Outlook contents such as mails, appointments, tasks or contacts to SharePoint lists, where these can be shared with other users. This process can be performed manually, or automatically and is achieved without using any scripts or programming, with complete seamless experience to the users. In other words, Data Publisher extends your Microsoft Outlook to effectively act as a content provider for your enterprise SharePoint repository. It can be adapted to feed data to SharePoint lists for various purposes, such as for issue tracking, timesheets, projects or contact managements.

Exclaimer Image Analyzer

Exclaimer Image Analyzer provides business owners with email image scanning functionality, ensuring no images of pornographic or inappropriate nature pass through the corporate email system. Exclaimer Image Analyzer works in conjunction with Active Directory through Exchange server 2007 and 2010. This means any email sent via Outlook, Outlook Express, Smartphones, PDAs and BlackBerrys are automatically scanned for inappropriate content. An initial audit period allows you to report on the level of imagery going through your corporate email system, categorizing them into 'clean' and 'suspect' using the reporting tools.

GFI MailEssentials for Exchange

Anti-spam, disclaimers (with variables), archiving Internet mail, Internet mail usage reports. Includes a POP downloader and personalized server-based autoreplies that can include attachments and tracking numbers. Can archive to an ODBC database. Current version includes Overall improved anti-spam technology, an additional anti-spam engine called SpamRazer along with improved performance and a real-time dashboard.

GFI MailSecurity for Exchange

Protects against email viruses and other threats with multiple virus engines, content and attachment quarantine, HTML script analysis, recognition of common HTML mail exploits, and other features. Uses the Exchange Virus Scanning API to check both internal and external messages. An available freeware version includes one anti-virus scanner and performs basic keyword content analysis.

MailScan for Microsoft Exchange Server

Performs anti-virus and content scanning of traffic between Exchange and the Internet. Can also perform automatic compression.

Open Relay Filter (ORF Fusion)

ORFEE supports filtering emails on arrival, which allows delivery path analysis, keyword and attachment filtering and Attachment and keyword filtering so you can drop emails with malicious attachments or replace the attachments with a customizable warning text. Both the keyword and the attachment filtering support using Perl-compatible regular expressions and are Unicode-aware. E-mails caught by the On Arrival filtering point can be dropped, redirected or tagged (header or subject). ORFEE includes a built-in log viewer which allows easy browsing, searching and filtering the logs. Exchange 2013 supported.

Policy Patrol Enterprise

All the disclaimer and signature features of Policy Patrol Disclaimer, plus rules-based message and attachment filtering, spam blocking with real-time black lists, white lists, and other methods, anti-virus using the Kaspersky anti-virus engine, off-peak delivery of large messages, reports on sent and received messages and other management features, automatic printing, customized NDRs and DSNs, automatic conversion of messages to plain text, automatic compression and decompression, archiving to SQL, XML, or CSV.

Policy Patrol Spam Filter

Anti-spam using Bayesian filtering, header and keyword analysis (including regular expressions), real-time black lists, automatic white lists, checking for illegal HTML, remote images and more. Spam messages can be quarantined, deleted and can include a header or tag. Also offers integration with Exchange/Outlook 2003 anti-spam features (Spam Confidence Level).

Praetor

Message filtering tool for Exchange Server to block spam, proprietary information leaks and unacceptable language. Also can create automatic replies and perform rule-based archiving.

Sentris Protection for Exchange

Sentris Protection is a classification labeling and validation service for Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. Sentris Protection adds its own toolbar to Microsoft Outlook that enables users to add portion markings as they compose e-mail messages, appointments, meeting requests, and tasks. It sets a message's minimum classification based on its portion markings and the marking of documents attached to the message and prompts the user to classify the message and enter information for the classification block and will only deliver the message to users who have appropriate access to the network and the facility. Sentris Protection also conducts a sensitive word search before each message is sent.

SpamMover for Exchange

Exchange event sink that moves into a Spam folder in a user's mailbox any message that carries an X-header or subject line marking it as spam, as added by such tools as SpamAssassin. For Exchange 2007. Version available for Exchange 2000/2003 and for public folders.

Team Publisher for Outlook & SharePoint

Team Publisher provides an easy way for work-group users to bring Outlook contents to SharePoint. It is just a click way to share and publish mails, appointments, tasks or contacts from Outlook to one or more of the administrator chosen SharePoint lists. This is achieved without using any scripts or programming, providing a seamless experience to the users. To be even more productive, publishing to SharePoint can be automated. In other words, Team Publisher extends your Outlook to feed data to SharePoint lists for various purposes, such as for email archiving, issue tracking, timesheets, and projects or contact managements.

VIPRE Email Security for Exchange

Email security software for Exchange featuring world-class antivirus, antispam, and a powerful, granular attachment filter.

XWall for Microsoft Exchange

Sits between Exchange Server and the Internet to scan messages for viruses, attachments and unwanted subject lines and add a disclaimer to outgoing messages. Also handles scheduled ETRN and statistics and can keep a copy of every message sent. Can detect attachments in rich-text messages, remove rich-text or HTML formatting, block messages in different languages, block spam based on a spam DNS database,


More Information

Articles on using event sinks in Exchange 2000 to perform file scans and add disclaimers. Note the fine print — these techniques don’t work when Outlook is the client:

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

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