Chicago Hospital solves spam & false-positive problem by implementing leading e-mail security solution
Background: Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 313-bed hospital in the western suburbs of Chicago, with more than 4000 employees and active email accounts.
Challenges: Prior to implementing Sendio's E-mail Security Platform (ESP) the hospital was struggling with both an "astronomical" spam problem as well as a significant false positive issue (legitimate messages blocked as spam). As a healthcare organization it was vital that all legitimate messages (particularly doctor and patient communications) be delivered directly to a recipient's inbox and not caught in a junk folder. Prior to deploying the Sendio solution the filter-based solution in place blocked certain valid messages that included the names of body parts and prescription drugs that doctors needed to use in a professional context.
Glen Malan, director of IT Infrastructure and Web Systems with the hospital knew they needed something different but was concerned about replacing their current filter with just another filter. For instance, they were concerned that other filters "would not be able to differentiate between fake ‘Viagra' e-mails and valid e-mails with ‘Viagra' in the subject [line]." In addition, due to the size of their network and number of users the organization struggled with an extremely high e-mail volume the bulk of which was spam. Malan needed a solution that would be able to handle a high volume of e-mail effectively. As a result the hospital turned to Sendio's ESP to totally eliminate spam false positives and other e-mail threats.
Best Deployment Scenario - Anti-Spam Hardware Solution
Solution provided: Sendio's E-mail Security Platform (ESP) is the only solution designed specifically for the enterprise that utilizes Contact Checking as opposed to content scanning to completely eliminate spam and e-mail threats. The ESP obtains its effectiveness through a combination of SilverListing a proprietary technology that includes a set of low-level SMTP tests to determine the legitimacy of the sending e-mail server and Sender Address Verification (SAV) which verifies the authenticity of first-time unsolicited senders and introduces a human element into the process much like the verification process embraced by millions of social networking and instant messaging users. Because of the high volume of e-mail the organization receives as well as the need for multiple levels of redundancy and a fail over option Central DuPage Hospital deployed two Sendio ESP430s in a cluster configuration.
The ESP430 the larger of two models offered by Sendio is recommended for businesses with over 1000 users or smaller organization's with users that receive very high volumes of e-mail. The appliance was installed smoothly between the organization's firewall and mail server. Because of this set-up the organization benefited from a significant bandwidth savings - with the Sendio appliance handling all inbound mail flow and only allowing legitimate e-mail messages to enter the organization's network and mail server. The organization also benefited from the systems multiple inbound and outbound security checks that included anti-virus & zero-hour protection as well as DKIM SPF Sender and Recipient checks.
Summary: Post-installation the inflow of spam e-mail to hospital employees and medical professionals has "dropped to an undetectable level" says Malan. "We took the system offline for a day when we switched from Lotus Notes to Exchange and we got a lot of complaints about how much spam there was! I think people forgot that before Sendio it was like that every day!" Because the Sendio appliance does not rely on the content of a message to determine what is and is not spam - the solution was perfectly suited to the unique needs of the hospital and was able to effectively address their problem with false positives. Ultimately the solution restored trust in e-mail: "Sendio gave us back our e-mail" asserts Malan.
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