Telford and Wrekin Council has deployed the Sophos E-mail Security and Control platform to defend local schools' e-mail from spam.
The council, responsible for e-mail services to students and staff at 84 primary and secondary schools, had relied on Sophos Anti-Virus to protect them from malware, spyware and suspicious files, but had no protection at the e-mail gateway.
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With pupils and staff receiving more and more unsolicited e-mails, the council decided to adopt a spam filter to defend against malware and block inappropriate e-mail content.
Sophos says its research reveals 95% of e-mail is spam, of which 32% links to adult or illegal material.
"As well as the obvious need to protect our network from cyber-attacks, our principal concern is protecting young people from pornographic or other unsuitable material that spam messages are often associated with," said David James, network administrator at Telford and Wrekin Council.
Because the council provides e-mail services only to schools that opt in, it wanted a high level of service to attract them.
It trialled two e-mail security systems and chose Sophos E-mail Security and Control, built around two ES4000 appliances to scan all incoming and outgoing mail, and PureMessage to protect all internal e-mail.
"In addition to a massive reduction in spam messages getting to pupils' inboxes, the immediate benefit we saw was the reduction in time the IT team spends handling e-mail administration," said James.
"Straight away we were able to set and monitor user and group-specific policies. Teachers and pupils now no longer have to waste time sifting through hundreds of spam e-mails each time they check their accounts."