Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of our latest intelligence service for email providers – the Abusix Mail Intelligence service. If you have been in the email business for some time, you may be wondering – Is it just another blocklist? Why should I care? Let us explain.
1. The Need for another blocklist
Marketers have declared that email marketing is hands down, the most profitable channel for marketing, generating about $40 for every $1 spent. It’s no wonder that there are over 200 Billion (with a B) email messages sent across the internet every single day.
A lot of those are legitimate messages that legitimate people and companies send to carry out their business or send across their personal communication. But unfortunately, studies show that more than 85% of all emails sent today are spam messages.
Given the high amount of unwanted messages being sent every day, any email provider, whether it’s an ESP or a large corporation managing their own email service, has to deal with it. And they do try, but these messages do slip through the cracks every now and then.
Moreover, these providers are not just the recipients of these messages but are also senders of messages. Any bad activity in their network, whether it is intentional or just an ignorant customer violating use policies, can affect their ability to send emails, and most of the time there is nothing they can do about it.
This is why we built the Abusix Mail Intelligence service. It reduces spam, malware and phishing attacks To better understand, let’s look at the typical challenges that email providers face and how Abusix Mail Intelligence service solves them:
2. Not All Blocklists Are Created Equal
There are a lot of blocklists out there. Since pretty much anyone can build a blocklist (also known as blacklist, RBL or DNSBL), you should not blindly trust any provider. There are many smaller and free blocklist providers out there, but also a bunch of commercial ones. And sometimes a mix of both does its job best!
Every blocklist is different – depending on their geographic location, and the type of data they collect through their trap networks. As such, these lists are bound to miss threats that don’t get reported to them. Therefore, it makes sense for email providers to subscribe to multiple blocklists to improve their accuracy of detecting and purging unwanted messages.
The Abusix Mail Intelligence set of blocklist aggregates, processes and normalizes data from many differnt trustworthy providers, facilitating a real-time lookup of IP, domain, and URL threat data for various applications and services.
According to latest Virus Bulletin report, Abusix Mail Intelligence has one of the best score in the industry:
- Spam Catch Rate – 99.69%
- False-Positive Rate: 0.00%
3. How to make use of a blocklist?
Most service providers use multiple blocklists to filter out unwanted and dangerous messages, such as spam, malware, and phishing emails, before delivering them to their user’s inboxes.
Simply put, a blocklist is a list of IPs or domains that a blocklist operator, like Abusix, has found to send spam, is infected with malware, or has some recently reported activity that indicates malicious intent.
The providers use this information from various blocklist services along with internal metrics to make decisions on whether or not to block a certain message. It’s needless to say that the accuracy of decisions the email provider makes is highly dependent on:
- The type of data they receive – this is typically mitigated by subscribing to multiple threat data feeds and blocklists
- Their ability to process millions of threat indicators they receive from their threat feeds – if they cannot handle the traffic, they stay vulnerable till the point they can catch up
4. What’s in for you?
Abusix Mail Intelligence reduces the complexity related to accessing and using threat data by consolidating essential, industry-leading threat feeds into one easy-to-consume service.
Our blocklists natively contain mechanisms that grade IP addresses and domains for anti-spam measures and deliver trustworthy results with very high reliability and zero false positives. This allows for informed and accurate decision making for anyone running their own mail servers.
With our Abusix Mail Intelligence blocklist you:
- get a ressource-effective spam filter
- prevent malware and phising attacks from entering your network
- save CPU and bandwidth
- protect your mail servers, both inbound and outbound
- easily integrate our blocklists with any other mail product
But what if your own IP or domain gets all of a sudden listed on a blocklist? What do you do?
3. A delisting process you’ll love
Service providers cannot always control who in their network may violate the use policies and are likely to get flagged for bad activity at some point.
Once an IP address has been blocklisted, a typical process to get delisted includes visiting the blocklist providers website and doing a lookup on the IP address.
Each blocklist database has its own criteria for flagging IP addresses and compiling its own list of online offenders. Most blacklist databases will provide general listing reasons, but don’t list the specifics which can help resolve the issue and get delisted. But sometimes, the whole desilting process can take days or weeks.
At Abusix, we want to make the delisting process as easy and smooth as possible. This means, that we are:
- Providing the necessary tools and an easy-to-follow process to delist your IP once actions are taken to remediate the issue.
- Providing full visibility why IPs were blocklisted in the first place.
- Providing a support team, which will help you should you run into any problems. No need to call or spend ours in the pipe
Read more about our look-up and delist service here.
If you want to protect your mail servers and your customers’ data, go and give Abusix Mail Intelligence a try. We have a 14-day free trial. Any questions? We are happy to answer them!