Stopping SPAM at the gateway

Stopping SPAM at the gateway

With spam accounting for about 97 per cent of its emails, Zoos SA had to source a secure solution to their bandwidth problem before they took a leap into the mobile world.

Receiving spam is by far the most annoying aspect of working through email communication. Controlling it can be tricky as well, especially if the customer is in an industry that deals with delicate topics.

Take Zoos SA, for example. Part of the organisation’s work and research is to learn and discuss animal behaviours and lifestyles – so it’s not hard to image what type of spam its inboxes would be infiltrated with.

Losing bandwidth control

Zoos SA is a non-profit organisation with about 100 employees, some of which are constantly outdoors. All staff were finding their inboxes flooded with dodgy emails. Mobility services provider, Si Partners, was awarded a contract to help conquer the organisation’s spam problem.

According to Si professional services director, Brian Harris, the client was juggling 30,000 emails a week, 97 per cent of which were spam.

“Before we did anything on the mobility side, we locked down their content protection and spam fi lter using MessageLabs, so that we had good bandwidth to play with and we didn’t have all this mess coming into their Exchange environment,” he said. “They’re a difficult site to fine-tune for spam. It’s been a big test for MessageLabs, because as you can imagine Zoos SA gets all sorts of words in their emails that a standard spam filter will knock out.”

One of the main pain points for Zoos SA was a lack of bandwidth at the gateway, mainly due to all the spam being received in their inboxes.

“If you’ve got a slow gateway, it means the information is not getting out,” Harris said. “If we didn’t get rid of that and the people using mobile devices are getting tonnes of junkmail, the mobile devices become painful to use and they start to mistrust them.

“They become an irritant rather than a device that offers a return on investment.” Another aspect was that the client was a non-profit organisation, meaning that they didn’t have a big IT budget.

“They can’t afford to buy loads of wireless cards and laptops. We found that their biggest pain was trying to substantiate a budget to fit their requirements in,” Harris said.

“Whereas they can buy a mobile device, which doesn’t have the depth of features as a laptop, but it has enough to allow people to connect to their intranet, get email and messages to one another.”

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