Spam solution resuscitates lifesaving society

Adopts on demand model

The NSW branch of the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia has replaced its on-site messaging solution with a hosted offering to control spam.

As a liifesaving and water safety organisation that has been in operation for 110 years, NSW CEO David Macallister, said administrative overheads have to be kept to a minimum.

Macallister said the former on-site solution relied on constant day to day maintenance to remain efffective.

"When a staff member who had taken on responsibility for configuring the solution and adding key words left the organisation, the configuration fell into disrepair," he said.

"Staff began receiving increasing volumes of spam e-mails directly into their inboxes. Although the messaging security solution still blocked some of the clutter hitting inboxes, more than 50 per cent of e-mails getting through were spam, while good mail stopped."

Macallister estimated staff, who average between 50-150 e-mails a day, had to sort through and delete up to 100 spam messages daily.

The society's health promotion manager, Caitlin Chellew, said she received about 80 e-mails a day, about 30 were genuine messages while the remaining 50 were spam.

"Working out which e-mails were spam was often not immediately obvious; they have become so clever in disguising subject lines, it became tricky trying to determine which was spam without previewing them," said Ms Chellew.

"Some of it can be quite offensive. There would be some things come through that I would not want to see 30 times a day every day."

Since switching over to the Proofpoint on Demand hosted service for e-mail security, spam has become a rarity.

"In the last week no one has received any spam. We are literally getting no spam at all," Chellew said.

Proofpoint on Demand features anti-spam, anti-virus, e-mail policy enforcement, data loss prevention and policy-based encryption capabilities.

The security provider's APAC director, Gerry Tucker, said in a small to medium sized organisation like Royal Life Saving NSW, spam can be a bigger problem than for large organisations because of the lack of specialised IT resources.

"This solution is in the cloud, making it an easy way for smaller organisations to get rid of the pain that spam causes without taking on any administration overheads," he said.

A report by analyst firm Frost and Sullivan claims the Australian market for managed security services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6 per cent between 2006 and 2012 reaching $843.1 million.

Released in 2007 the report identified the strongest market segments and estimates hosted e-mail filtering in Australia will grow at a CAGR of 38.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

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