2006 Consensus Software Awards




Box Sentry Pty Ltd

Judge's Citation

Email "spam" is a universal problem, attracting the interest even of our legislators.

Vendors offer a range of tools to try and mitigate the problem. This Adelaide based company presented to the judges an innovative methodology that overcomes many of the acknowledged inadequacies of existing products, particularly those that rely on content filtering.

Such existing anti-"spam" products have little or no effectiveness where the email language is not English. However, the RealMail technology is language independent, so it is well placed to offer an effective tool to the 90% of the world's population for whom English is not their daily language.

The judges were particularly impressed with BoxSentry's "go to market" model, as it demonstrates the potential - and their growing capability - to quickly take RealMail into lucrative export markets.

Product Description

RealMail is an innovative email security service (anti-virus, anti-spam) which has been developed in response to the growing incidence of non-english based spam (unsolicited commercial bulk email). Existing solutions in the marketplace have been designed to handle English based spam. However when spam is sent in multiple languages, particularly non-roman text (eg. Chinese, Japanese, Korean), such systems - the better of which typically use Bayesian content filtering - are unable to cope efficiently or effectively, often losing legitimate email (“false positives”) in the process of their filtering activities.

RealMail uses innovative authentication-based logic to ensure that it is able to both effectively and efficiently handle over 20 languages (covering 180+ countries in the world) whilst virtually eliminating the risk of “false positives”. RealMail’s logic is based on ‘authentication’ rather than filtering. Hence, the system primarily looks for legitimate senders rather than examining the email’s content. Legitimate senders can include previous correspondents or those independently verified by trusted third parties.

All spam held out of the users own systems back at the RealMail server level.

The current release of RealMail is provided as a service to customers. Effectively customers route their emails via the RealMail servers which, after processing these, send the good emails onto the clients original mail servers.

 Product at a glance

Product type


Target Industry Sectors

All sectors flagged

Food and clothing
Mining and resources

Fault tolerance

General user

Innovation indicators

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Business Advantage
Breaking new ground
Earth shrinking
Expanding horizons
New Business
New Technology
Quality of living
Social change

Performance indicators

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Quality system
Customer support
Standards and codes compliance
Fully supported product
Professionally executed design
Real world design
Beta tested
User benefits
New benchmark

Potential indicators

All indicators flagged

Wide agency support
Structured for growth
Global design
Identified potential markets
Award recognition
Successful track record

Contact for more information

Manish Goel


Whilst there are many vendors providing anti-spam solutions, very few can effectively handle spam in multiple languages with any level of precision. Our objective was to create a technological solution which would serve the fast growing non-English speaking email user base just as well as the English speaking market.

Receiving spam is not the largest issue at an enterprise/government level. Rather, it is the risk of losing critical legitimate email amongst the spam (which we call “false criticals”). Most current anti-spam solutions have a declared false critical ratio of around 1-2%. This means that 1 or 2 in every 100 emails are incorrectly marked as spam and consequently not delivered to their intended recipients. This ratio can increase considerably when the language in the email is not English.

RealMail’s innovation is to reverse the current logic applied by most solutions. Rather than “filtering out” bad emails, RealMail’s primary test is to authenticate legitimate senders. This is maintained automatically at three levels: the end user level, company/organisation level or third party level. Using this logic RealMail is able to achieve a “false critical” ratio approaching zero. Further, because the logic thwarts most spammers, very little spam passes through to the end user.

The RealMail solution is based on A.I. principles and combines heuristics with proprietary and multiple third party data sets. RealMail’s platform integrates these datasets and applies the heuristics to determine the sender’s authenticity.

Feedback in over 10 non-English speaking countries from government organisations who are evaluating this problem, as well as security experts we have consulted as part of our market evaluation program, have confirmed that the RealMail technology effectively provides a solution where few other currently available technology can.


The key performance measures for enterprise-grade anti-spam solutions are: 

(1) throughput - the ability to process email (eg. handling emails per minute)

(2) “false positives” or “false criticals” - the error rate of rejecting legitimate emails / critical emails

(3) “false negatives” - the error rate of allowing through spam

Since Q4 2005 throughout alpha, beta and more recently within production, RealMail’s statistics on the above measures have been extremely strong.

The most CPU intensive component of dealing with email is “content filtering”. When more than one language is involved this effort is compounded as the system must go through the entire email looking for keywords in more than just one language.

Because of the authentication based logic applied, RealMail is able to achieve significant processing efficiencies, particularly within a multilingual environment. 

With regards to false criticals, RealMail’s logic has uniquely built-in what we call a “double human check”. Whilst the logic applied means that the majority of legitimate emails are automatically passed to the recipient, there are some cases in which a decision whether or not to accept an email must be escalated to the user for manual intervention. This happens for around 0.5 to 1% of emails. Doing so allows RealMail to achieve extreme precision in identifying legitimate emails. False criticals are virtually eliminated as those emails where there may be ”reasonable doubt” by the system are presented to the recipient for validation.

Given that the system holds back all emails from illegitimate sources, the false negative ratio (spam entering into the users mailbox) also approaches zero. No spam emails are ever automatically sent through to the end user.

Feedback from our customers to date, as well as our channel partners has been extremely strong on RealMail’s performance since inception. Particularly partners in the non-English markets comment on how simple yet effective RealMail is in protecting their legitimate email communication.


Over 92% of the people in the world do not have English as their mother tongue . This is an extremely telling statistic as our research shows that traffic is increasingly non-english based. In some countries (eg. Korea, Thailand, Japan) the percentage of local language email traffic is over 80%. In other markets (eg. Hong Kong, Gulf States) although much business email communication is in English, they will typically contain some local language (eg. in the address line on the signature).

RealMail’s core logic is truly multi-language based. To this effect, the technology has true global potential. In particular, our target markets are the non-English speaking countries where existing solutions fail to provide a viable solution.

Needless to say, as email communication is increasingly in non-English languages, RealMail’s solution provides an excellent alternative to existing filtering based technologies.

In December 2005, RealMail was also awarded runner-up in the Australian IT Secrets competition (IT Security).

Other information the judges should know

About BoxSentry

BoxSentry is headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia and also has offices in London, England.

Three years ago, our multinational development team recognised that spam was no longer just an English-centric problem. After all 92% of people in the world do not have English as their mother-tongue. Consequently, working with our international partners, BoxSentry's R&D team set to work to develop RealMail.

Its patent-pending software is founded on the principle of simplicity and effectiveness. Whilst providing complete protection against the increasing prevalence of spam, it has been designed with the basic recognition that businesses and government now use email as a critical communication tool and thus cannot afford to lose even a single critical legitimate email.

Over the past two and a half years BoxSentry's engineering and product development teams based around the world have developed the RealMail service to help clients fight the effects of spam, viruses, 'spoofing' and 'phishing'.

BoxSentry Pty Limited (A.C.N. 103 351 720) is a privately held company with external capital from private investors led by Greenoak Capital Partners. It is a spin-out organization from WebGenie Software Pty Limited.

Attachments: RealMail by Box Sentry Brochure (pdf)

Manish Goel


Box Sentry Pty Ltd

Adelaide, South Australia

Content Copyright©Box Sentry Pty Ltd
Format Copyright©Consensus Pty Ltd

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