NSW Health starts spam treatment

The NSW Department of Health has purchased antispam and antivirus software to help prevent spam from draining its resources.

The move comes after reports warned that IT systems in the health sector suffered almost 50 percent of more spyware attacks than other industries.

NSW Health's head of IT infrastructure, John Brown, said an efficient solution is needed to maintain strategy and policy on health care in NSW. "Any disruptions can quite literally have an impact on the health and treatment of patients in NSW," Brown said.

In keeping with the government's 'buy not build' philosophy, the sector has bought the software rather than build its own infrastructure.

"The benefits are fairly obvious in that you don't end up with ageing, out-of-date equipment that will need to be replaced," Brown said.

The department, working with Dimension Data, conducted a three-week trial of the software in August last year, which had positive results.

"We saw our spam levels drop to around 0.02 percent, which is significant [considering] that [the department] receives more than 600,000 e-mails a month," Brown said.

The software, produced by MessageLabs, uses signature management, client-configurable sender lists, and its Skeptic predictive intelligence technology to identify and re-route threats before they reach the corporate network.

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