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Anti-spam upgrade gives staff productivity boost

Bill Goodwin
Law firm Addleshaw Goddard claims to have saved 1,800 hours a month by regaining lost productivity after upgrading its anti-spam system.

The law firm invested in an anti-spam service from Tumbleweed after seeing an increase in the number of spam e-mails that penetrated its defences during the preceding six months.

The growing sophistication of spammers, who are increasingly using tricks such as inserting full stops and other symbols into words to fool filtering systems, meant that some partners were receiving between 74 and 100 spam e-mails a day.

"We calculated, on average, that people spent five minutes a day dealing with spam messages," said Dan Simms IT technical services manager.

The law firm had been using Tumbleweed's EMS anti-virus and spam filtering gateway, running on a Hewlett-Packard Windows 2003 server to provide a basic spam filtering service and check for viruses carried by e-mail.

"It has been very effective over the past few years -spamat keeping down the spam levels," said Simms. "But we have had to create rules to capture specific messages. The problem is that the messages that are coming through are more intelligent."

The company looked at several anti-spam services, including external anti-spam filtering services run by Messagelabs and Blackspider, before deciding to upgrade its Tumbleweed system.

Simms said the Tumbleweed subscription-based anti-spam service provided better control of spam, and offered the company greater flexibility because it used hardware based on-site rather than a managed service.

Addleshaw Goddard has also modified its network to eliminate administration e-mails sent by its anti-virus systems and fax gateway services, which also wasted staff time.

The service, which runs on Addleshaw Goddard's existing HP mail server, allows employees to view a list of spam e-mails that have been intercepted by the system, and if necessary retrieve them, to ensure that no important messages have been blocked accident

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