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U Alabama at Birmingham Cuts Spam with Messaging Appliance

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has deployed Proofpoint's Messaging Security Gateway appliance to provide anti-spam and anti-virus protection. The university receives about a million incoming messages per day, of which 90 percent are spam. Since deployment of the appliance, the institution has noticed an extensive decline in both time and money spent on controlling spam.

"As a leading research university and health care institution, UAB IT continuously focuses on enhancing our information security posture," said Sheila Sanders, vice president for IT. "The previous open source anti-spam solution was struggling to adequately meet the growing needs of the institution. After careful analysis and review of the anti-spam solutions on the market, we found that Proofpoint best met our requirements."

"Deploying Proofpoint enabled the university to dramatically reduce its inbound e-mail traffic, Sanders said. "Simplifying our e-mail architecture was an added benefit when we moved our anti-virus and anti-spam systems to the network border. The result was reduced malicious e-mails as well as significantly reduced storage and archiving requirements."

The university's IT organization manages 25,000 faculty, staff, and student mailboxes. "Few products in our inventory have been able to deliver such instantaneous, noticeable, and decisive results," Sanders added.

The university also uses the Proofpoint Dynamic Reputation module, which blocks malicious e-mail connections at the gateway, thereby reducing the volume of e-mail messages that are processed. Over the next year, U Birmingham plans to evaluate other modules from Proofpoint, including a regulatory compliance application to secure the transmission of confidential information in compliance with data privacy regulations.

The Proofpoint appliance is also in use at the University of Florida Foundation and Kent State University.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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