iiNet standardizes anti-spam and AV client for 300,000 users

Open source solution ditched

Internet Service Provider (ISP) iiNet has replaced its predominantly open-source, inhouse developed security environment with an out-of-the-box, managed anti-spam and AV client for its 300,000 users.

The ISP ditched its mixed, multi-vendor anti-malware applications in a bid to generate savings and build redundancy.

iiNet has implemented 10 IronPort's c650 e-mail clients as well as a managed spam and anti-virus solution, to alleviate increasing workloads on its two full-time staff tasked with spam filtering.

iiNet CTO, Greg Bader, said the new Ironport solution updates its existing Ironport SenderBase client which it has used for about two years, and has produced good results.

"We have taken our old application farm and swapped it for something new and powerful which has reduced our footprint in our power rack space, and significantly increased our e-mail throughput," Bader said, adding it can now over-provision to deal with future spam deluges, and runs anti-spam without the need for dedicated staff.

"Before Ironport, we ran a predominantly open-source, in-house solution with fairly basic spam engines that used e-mail origin and word-search functions to identify spam.

"The implementation ran in parallel with our old application farm so essentially we replaced the old box with a new one which picked up the current load with provisions to handle much more."

Bader said the surge in sophisticated spam has made in-house solutions obsolete because they lack the "visibility and horsepower" that dedicated companies can deliver.

"We focused on a good anti-spam solution because most users have some anti-virus software since it is easily-updated, whereas anti-spam applications are complicated because spam is more sophisticated and evolving," he said.

The critical issue for iiNet, Bader said, was that its growing application farm and the 84 million spam messages which passed it filters each month were putting a heavy burden on hardware, leading to decreased throughput.

Bader said the ISP needed localized customer service and support and the ease of management that comes with using a single vendor.

He said the company purchased the solution under a fixed cost, meaning "the more customers iiNet signs on, the less we pay per user".

IronPort's c650 client uses a reputation filter to assign a spam-probability score to each e-mail ranging from -10 to 10, based on global volume data, message composition, spamtraps and complaint information, blacklists, open proxy data and third party e-mail accreditation

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