SMX email solution eliminates the Automobile Association's spam problem overnight

Case study - SMX email solution eliminates the Automobile Association's spam problem overnight

"We've gone from receiving over 100,000 Spam messages per hour down to zero."

Doug Wilson, CIO, Automobile Association of New Zealand

The productivity drain as employee’s clear clogged mailboxes is a major issue - for all businesses, big and small.

Just ask Doug Wilson, the Chief Information Officer for the New Zealand Automobile Association. In early December last year, as the AA began gearing up for its busiest time of the year preparing to sort out travel plans and problems for thousands of genuine customers, its network was receiving up to 100,000 spam messages per hour.

Yes, that's 100,000 spam emails per hour. The AA’s 600 staff were fed up with unwanted messages.

Says Doug Wilson: "Our IT staff were inundated with constant questions and complaints from users who wanted and needed a solution to the problem."

The AA tried a number of anti-spam solutions and also regularly changed its anti-spam filters.

"We'd almost given up hope of trying to find a really effective solution." Says Thomas Layzell, Ms Network Manager.

Thomas says he was "skeptical and jaded" when he and Doug Wilson agreed to trial SMX Email Security.

SMX Email Security is different from conventional anti-spam products because protection is provided at the network layer before threats enter the customer network. There is no need for customers to install software or put in new hardware.

Jesse Ball, managing director of SMX, says his company mission is straightforward: "We receive mail through the Internet, scan it for viruses and spam, scrub it clean and deliver this clean mail to our customers."

AA's Thomas Layzell says he no longer feels jaded and, in fact, the countdown to Christmas was untroubled by spam.

Says Thomas: "The whole spam thing stopped overnight. It was amazing. We had people who were getting hundreds a day. Now they get nothing.”

"All we had to do was make a small change, which took only a few minutes, to automatically direct all inbound mail to SMX.”

“We just said "Do it" and 24 hours later we had no spam."

Spammers are constantly inventive and experts say it is bound to get worse.

However, Jesse Ball and SMX co founder Thom Hooker believe they know how to stay a step ahead of the cyber criminals. The SMX team have around 20 year's experience in the mail industry, and Jesse Ball and Thom Hooker helped to build Xtra's mail platform.

They have built a platform they guarantee eliminates 99.97% of spam and viruses. Says Jesse Ball: "We deliver a clean pipe service. That means it's all clean data so basically we stop it before it goes into the network.”

"We don't have to ship hardware, we don't have to install anything, and we don't have to change any networks. All we do is turn on the service like a switch. We can turn it on within two or three minutes. Once the service is on, a single phone call to the customer's ISP reroutes mail through the SMX system.

"There are no lead times, no delay with delivered mail and you don't need to be technical to understand how to come onto the service."

Cyber criminals are constantly trying to hack into private and commercial servers but they are wary of "obstructions" such as SMX's Email Security service.

Says Jesse Ball: "What we are doing is providing that extra layer so that hackers can't directly connect to a company's mail servers.

Cyber crime is a constant cat and mouse game, says Jesse "but, the SMX cat is guaranteed to get the spam mouse at least 99.97 percent of the time." Tough odds for the spamsters and cyber criminals.