Vic councils can spam with network device

Probability filtering reduces false positives

Hobsons Bay City Council in southern Victoria has deployed two Ironport C100 e-mail security appliances to assist the IT department to meet its SLAs by reducing mail routing times.

The devices use "reputation filtering" to block spam before it is downloaded by assigning a probability score to e-mail senders, created from more than 50 parameters from some 50,000 participating networks. Suspicious e-mails are filtered more critically and those flagged as spam due to a low score are rejected.

Hobsons Bay City Council IT manager Mark Cilia said it purchased the devices because it was struggling to meet SLAs of 30 minutes for e-mail routing.

"A lot of incoming e-mails that contained images, such as building plans, were blocked by our previous solution, which meant our single help desk member was spending hours sifting through spam for legitimate mail," Cilia said, adding the affect was worsened because are a small department.

He said the department now spends less than 15 minutes scanning for false positives which have not met the filter's quarantine rules, and does not lose e-mails containing images as graphics are not specifically targeted.

"The C100s identified more than 80 percent of incoming mail as spam," he said.

The council implemented the solution without an alternative, following a successful two week trial and advice from other councils that use the devices.

Nillumbik Shire Council in northern Victoria also reduced manual e-mail filtering times by deploying a C100 device and a Tipping Point firewall.

Nillumbik Shire Council IT manager Geoff Edmonds said the solution identified 81 percent of e-mails as spam and reduced validation times for department staff from three hours to one.

"Our e-mail traffic has declined significantly since installing the device, and we've had no complaints about lost mail from our internal users originating from external suppliers," Edmonds said.

"We are benefiting from the solutions' set and forget security concept, which is manageable and effective."

The C100 devices incorporate Sophos antivirus as an integrated second layer of virus protection, and Bounce Verification which signs the return address for outgoing mail to allow legitimate bounces to be filtered from fraudulent instances by requiring a correct signature.

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