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Google offers security services for any email system

Google is using its Postini acquisition to offer security features for any e-mail system.

The company is set to launch several new security products on Tuesday that are part of its Google Apps platform but are targeted at organizations that aren't using Gmail and other Web-hosted applications from Google.

The Powered by Postini services are message filtering with spam and malware filtering, for $3 per user per year; message filtering plus enhanced virus detection, content policy management, and other support to stop e-mail data leaks, for $12 per user per year; and message discovery, which adds one year of message data archiving, retention, and discovery to help companies comply with legal and government regulatory compliance requirements, for $25 per user per year.

The message discovery service will appeal to executives who are increasingly worried about employees downloading copyrighted content, such as MP3 files, at work and leaking confidential information in e-mails, said Sundar Raghavan, a product marketing manager for Google.

The packages are available online, as well as directly from Google or through channel partners.

The policy management and 90-day message discovery services are available as part of the Google Apps Premier Edition, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Start Page for creating a home page.

Last year's Postini acquisition has given Google the security services necessary for it to truly compete against Microsoft, Cisco, and Symantec among others in the e-mail market.

I asked Raghavan whether offering security and compliance-type of services for e-mail still fits with Google's mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

He replied that the apps allow people to get to information hidden in corporate databases and e-mail systems, as well as to act on information and share it, and that keeping the data secure is part of keeping it useful.

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