Cisco Email Security Appliance

Cisco IronPort Image Analysis

With state-of-the-art technology, IronPort Image Analysis detects illicit content in incoming and outgoing email -- allowing customers to identify, monitor, and educate offending users.


Multilayered detection is enabled during the scanning process. IronPort Image Analysis uses 11 detection methods on the attachment and comes up with a verdict. Detection methods include advanced edge detection, body part separation, body part layout, and more.

Configurable verdict settings are an important part of IronPort Image Analysis. The image analysis filter rule allows administrators to determine which actions to take, based on the following verdicts:

  • Clean: The image is free of illicit content.
  • Suspect: The image may contain illicit content.
  • Inappropriate: The image contains illicit content.

These verdicts represent a numeric value assigned by the IronPort Image Analysis algorithm to determine probability of illicit content. The following default values are recommended:

  • Clean: 0 to 49
  • Suspect: 50 to 74
  • Inappropriate: 75 to 100
27 percent of Fortune 500 companies have battled sexual harassment claims stemming from employee misuse and abuse of corporate email and Internet systems.

- The American Management Association

Users can fine-tune image-scanning settings by configuring the values to use for clean, suspect, or illicit content for a particular mail profile and environment.

Embedded image scanning allows inspection of image files such as JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, GIF, TGA, ICO, and PCX. IronPort fingerprinting determines the file type, and IronPort Image Analysis examines the image content. The content-scanning engine extracts embedded files from more than 400 file types, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.

Policy integration helps users take action based on policy matches. IronPort Image Analysis works with message and content filters and helps enable policy-based filtering and reporting. The filtering infrastructure allows a combination of multiple actions, based on a single filter match. Administrators can create reports in both PDF and CSV formats.


Learn more about what IronPort Image Analysis can do for your organization.

Powerful Management

Many network administrators admit that they do not have any idea what inappropriate image content is moving in and out of (or may be residing on) their network. The IronPort Image Analysis management tool allows visibility into the problem and a simple way to identify policy offenders.

The easy-to-use interface and integration with content filtering and reporting infrastructure provides network administrators with a simple deployment and monitoring tool to successfully enforce company policies.

Image Analysis Diagram
IronPort Image Analysis gives administrators visibility into inbound and outbound message content.

Image Analysis Diagram
Quickly find users with the highest match on the policy filter.

Even a successful defense against a harassment suit can cost, on average, $100,000 and the average sexual harassment verdict against an employer is more than $250,000.

- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Avoid Legal Liability

In cases involving a hostile working environment, U.S. Supreme Court rulings have held employers liable for the actions of employees. Laws in places such as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia also hold employers responsible for employee actions.

Based on data collected by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the average sexual harassment verdict against employers has been more than US$250,000. Even in cases where U.S. employers have successfully defended themselves from such claims, the legal costs have averaged about $100,000.

However, court rulings and laws have indicated that an employer may not be held legally responsible if the employer has exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassing behavior. IronPort Image Analysis provides detection, reporting, and policy enforcement features that can help employers defend themselves in such situations.

Preserve Brand Image

Companies spend very large sums to develop a brand image and to project that image worldwide. In financial, government, and medical establishments the image is conservative, secure, and professional. For large retailers, a family-friendly image is important.

The effect of negative publicity on these carefully crafted images can be very serious -- potentially leading to ridicule in the press and lost revenue.

IronPort Image Analysis enables employers to proactively thwart such threats by monitoring corporate email messaging and taking necessary remediation steps.

Protect Employees

Research has shown that important and high-profile company employees are often the ones who transmit and receive inappropriate content. Enforcement of company policies generally results in dismissal or discipline of these employees for network abuse, resulting in loss of valuable company assets. With AUP and IronPort Image Analysis technology, a company can take insurance against this possible loss.

Image Analysis Diagram