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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Return Path and Postini Team Up on Email Accreditation

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Several weeks ago, Postini announced a new product called PTIN Access – enabling enterprises, solution providers, and OEMs to have access to the Postini Threat Identification Network.  PTIN is Postini’s real-time sender behavior analysis for email threat prevention and is the core for Postini’s remarkable email security service (which I like to refer to as “magic” as this is what it’s like to go from a spam-filled inbox to no-spam at a flip of a switch.)

Today, Postini announced that Return Path will use data from PTIN to support the Return Path Bonded Sender email accreditation service.  While whitelist and blacklist services have existed for a long time, they don’t work very well anymore in today’s spam filled world.  As a result, legitimate emailers get blocked (or categorized) as spam regularly and – in an effort to deal with this via whitelists – spammers exploit these lists and bad stuff gets through.  There’s a tough balance here as directory harvest attacks, phishing attacks, virus, and ever more sophisticated spam approaches increase the pressure on email security providers, resulting in “tighter filters”, which then blocks legit email, and on and on it goes.

Return Path has been at the forefront of the email deliverability issue.  Postini has been at the forefront of the email security / anti-spam issue.  I’ve been involved in a number of investments around email over the past 10 years and know – as well as most – how the level of complexity around email has increased as it has become pervasive in our lives.  It’s completely logical and exciting to me that Postini and Return Path would work together to help separate good email from bad email. 

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