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How to handle the email mountain

Merri Mack, Voice&Data

The ever-growing disaster of email is wearing organisations down with the attendant problems of getting rid of spam and the compliance issues of storing the mass, let alone the loss of productivity caused by email.

A trend is emerging, especially for small to medium enterprises (SME) to outsource their email management. And it’s not only incoming email that need scrutiny, outbound email also needs attention according to Proofpoint.

In its fifth annual study of outbound email and data loss prevention issues and the first to include Australia Proofpoint found that enterprises continue to incur risk from and take action against information leaks over outbound email, as well as newer communications media such as blogs, message boards, media sharing sites and mobile devices.

Outbound email remains a key source of risk for enterprises with 23% of surveyed Australian companies reporting that they investigated an email leak of confidential information in the past 12 months. This compares with a record 44% of US companies surveyed.

27% of the Australian companies surveyed reported that they employ staff to read or otherwise analyse the contents of outbound email (compared with 29% of US companies). 17% of Australian companies said they employ staff primarily or exclusively for this purpose (compared with 15% of US companies).

27% of Australian companies surveyed investigated an email-based violation of privacy or data protection

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regulations in the past 12 months (compared with 40% of US companies). Also, 20% of Australian companies surveyed terminated an employee for violating email policies in the last 12 months (compared with 26% of US companies).

Australian company, ISS Australia outsources email and web security to MessageLabs to increase security protection while maximising productivity at the lowest total cost of ownership.

ISS has outsourced its email and web protection to MessageLabs as part of its global drive to increase efficiency. Outsourcing has provided the scalability needed to keep up with ISS’s rapid growth in Australia and New Zealand.

Elimination of a wasteful and risky spam problem and protection from new and emerging online threats have been critical to saving costs, improving productivity and increasing the return on investment for information technology.

“Under our previous managed email security service, some end users were still receiving up to 40 spam emails a day,” said Roger Burgess, Group Technology Manager at ISS Facility Services Australia. “Since changing to MessageLabs, there has virtually been a 100 per cent reduction in spam, and we can ensure employees access only safe and appropriate web content.”

Because MessageLabs intercepts spam, viruses and malicious code hidden in emails or on websites in real time, before they enter an organisation’s network, it provides complete protection from email and web-borne attacks. Moreover, it delivers immediate savings by slashing the volume of data downloaded.

The Australian arm of IronPort Systems, a provider of enterprise spam, virus and spyware protection, and now part of Cisco, has been contracted to provide a highly available email hygiene solution to Eleven Systems for that company’s newly established hosted email service.

Eleven Systems founder and CEO Biagio La Rosa’s new company will address what he sees as a market need that is well served by major all-purpose IT vendors at the high end but relatively unaddressed at the SME level.

Biagio La Rosa said Eleven Systems will provide complete hosted IT infrastructures to companies which have seen the merit of outsourcing their entire computing and networking requirements in order to free themselves to concentrate on the core business. The infrastructure will initially deliver email hygiene – with optional email encryption – and email archive facilities.

The first element of Eleven Systems’ hosted service is based on IronPort appliances for clean email. La Rosa says, “The IronPort solution is absolutely critical to this initiative. Companies looking to relieve themselves of the management of email tell us the IronPort solution is phenomenal. They tell us, ‘Switch it on - spam stops. Just like that.’

“At only a modest cost,” says La Rosa, “Companies can confidently leave the email management burden to us. They will no longer have to worry about viruses, spam or any other form of malware. The ongoing configuring, updating and maintaining of their secure email and web infrastructure will all be done for them. It will all be totally transparent to them.”

He added that new and prospective users of the service were also attracted by its ‘green’ value – by not needing to add to their energy bills in order to enjoy email hygiene and security.

This story first appeared in Voice & Data.