Clearswift Limited
Type Private
Industry Computer security
Founded UK (1982)
Headquarters Theale, Berkshire, UK
Area served Worldwide
Products MIMEsweeper, Bastion, DeepSecure, FlashPoint
Revenue £24m (2005)[1]
Employees 230 (2004)[2]

Clearswift is a communications security company, providing web and email filtering for 25 million end users, at around 17,000 business customers.[3] It has offices in six countries worldwide, with headquarters in Theale, near Reading, UK.



SECURE Web Gateway

New product built on MIMEsweeper platform but with much simplified user interface and operations management. Gateway includes, Linux OS, AV, Anti Malware etc + Reporting all in a single deliverable. Can be deployed on virtual environments, own hardware or purchased as an appliance.

SECURE Email Gateway

The replacement product for MIMEsweeper. As with SECURE Web Gateway, provides much simplified user interface and operations management. Includes Linux OS, AV, Anti Malware and much improved SPAM detaction and reporting all in a single deliverable. Can be deployed on virtual environments, own hardware or purchased as an appliance.


MIMEsweeper was originally a mail filtering product of Content Technologies.

In April 2005 Clearswift began to market an SMTP appliance based upon the technology.[4]

Clearswift has extended the MIMEsweeper line to include web and instant messaging filtering. These are marketed as protecting against the leakage of confidential company information on social networking sites - Clearswift argues that instead of banning Web 2.0 sites and services entirely, businesses can actually gain a competitive advantage by making use of them, provided their use is monitored.[5][6]


Note Clearswift sold the Deep-secure, Bastion and Flashpoint products in Dec of 2009[7].

Bastion is a stand-alone application level firewall server, designed as a secure bastion host for running content filtering or inspection for X.400, SMTP, X.500 and SNMP. It uses the Trusted Solaris operating system, and has been assured to CC EAL4 .[8]


DeepSecure is a high assurance boundary protection guard for X.400 and SMTP providing email content policy enforcement, including secure inspection of S/MIME signed and encrypted messages within the assured protected environment provided by Bastion. DeepSecure provides central message policy management for distributed DeepSecure, and distributed management of security label policies using X.841 SPIFs. DeepSecure has been evaluated to CC EAL4[9] and selected in major military procurements.[10][11]


FlashPoint[12] is a Military Messaging client and server product set that is unique in its use of the 1994 X.400 Message Store access protocol P7.


Clearswift was originally founded as NET-TEL in 1982.[13][14] One of the co-founders, John Horton, had previously worked at GEC and Acorn Computers.[1]

In 1988, NET-TEL launched Route400, the world's first mail client for MS-DOS (using the X.400 protocol). It was later ported to other platforms.[15][16]

NET-TEL switched its main business to content filtering in 1998, as the popularity of the Microsoft Exchange Client took away the mail client market.[16]

NET-TEL was rebranded as Clearswift in 2001, after a round of venture capital fundraising.

In 2002, Clearswift acquired Content Technologies from Baltimore Technologies, along with the MIMEsweeper brand.[17]

In 2003, the company received $6.07 million from its shareholders, including venture capital funds managed by Amadeus Capital Partners, BA Capital Partners, Cazenove Private Equity, and Kennet Partners.[18] Also, it was reported that Clearswift were the providers of a new email filtering system at the House of Commons, responsible for blocking Welsh language emails as "inappropriate content", and preventing MPs receiving copies of a Sexual Offences Bill.[19] Clearswift would not confirm that the House of Commons was a customer, citing customer confidentiality reasons.

In January 2008, failure to renew a domain name caused loss of email services to 5% of Clearswift's customers.[3]

External links


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