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Email Security & Continuity

Cloud based email, hosted email, email security, email continuity

Email Filtering & Continuity from Affinity IT

Affinity Mail Protection is a proven, highly effective and low-maintenance hosted email continuity and security solution whose next-generation technology protects thousands of organizations from junk email and viruses while also providing valuable email continuity.

Email is a critical tool for all organizations. Affinity Mail Protection delivers comprehensive security and continuity for your organisations’ email communications.


With a comprehensive range of features, Mail Protection enables administrators to-fine tune the filtering on a per-person,  per-domain, or per-organization basis, or simply “set it and forget it.”

Get your FREE 30 day trial of our Cloud Based Email Security & Continuity Service. Call us today on 08455 280038 to arrange a no obligation trial.

Continuity

Customers can continue accessing, responding to, and sending email messages, even in the event of an on-premise mail server or network outage.  The continuity feature is always available, easy to use, and it goes without saying that it’s extremely valuable in the event of a problem with your mail infrastructure.

Industry-leading virus protection

Affinity Mail Protection provides a unique combination of technologies to defend against email-borne threats, including zero-hour antivirus defence, virtualization-based malware detection technology, and traditional signature-based antivirus engines – together resulting in unmatched malware defence

Inbound and outbound spam filtering

Robust, highly accurate and adaptive spam detection improves productivity by blocking junk email, including emerging new spam variants.  The service also prevents inappropriate messages from being sent from your network — protecting the company’s reputation, improving overall email deliverability, and alerting administrators as to the presence of any compromised systems.

Network defence

Affinity Mail Protection prevents directory harvest attacks and email-based denial of service attacks by limiting and controlling inbound SMTP traffic, protecting your network and your mail server.

Intuitive web-based control panel

The customizable web-based control panel allows administrators or end-users to manage the service with a minimum of effort, while also providing users with access to queued messages in the event of an on-premise mail server failure.

Hosted individual junk mail quarantines

The service can retain detected spam messages in quarantine, outside of the company’s network. Users can access the quarantine at any time.  Users can also receive, up to three times per day, a convenient, automatically emailed summary of detected spam messages with a link next to each message allowing the user to easily release any potential false positives from the quarantine.

Message logging and search

Administrators can easily determine the delivery status of an inbound or outbound message, via a message search tool that provides full delivery logs with detailed tracking information, including the specific response from the receiving mail server.

Optional integrated archive

At any time, you can easily enable the integrated, affordable, and easy-to-use Affinity Mail Archive service for one or more domains, to provide a complete solution for email security, continuity, and archive.

With Affinity Mail Protection you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Immediate activation, with no hardware or software to download, install, or maintain.
  • Junk mail is blocked before it reaches your network – reducing risk, network bandwidth and load on the mail server
  • Built-in continuity allows you to continue using email even when your mail server is down
  • Robust spam and virus detection technologies block even emerging “zero hour” threats
  • Delegated management capabilities and other self-service features allow administrators to save time compared to other email security solutions
  • You can use the service  with any operating system or mail infrastructure including Exchange, Lotus Domino, GroupWise, Zimbra, qmail, postfix, sendmail and any other SMTP server.

For more information, contact us and start a 30-day free trial of one or more domains, any time you like.

How Affinity Mail Protection works

Infrastructure

Our service provider has invested significantly in developing a reliable, stable, and scalable hosted mail protection service that is hands-free and trouble-free for our customers. The Affinity Mail Protection software architecture is designed for high availability and the network spans multiple, geographically distributed datacenters as the foundation for our services. Significant attention is paid to the many components affecting the reliability and scalability of Affinity Mail Protection including its network, systems and software architecture.

Network architecture

The distributed network architecture uses multiple datacentres. For maximum reliability, the datacentres have diversified management, regional power sources, and network peering arrangements. Each location features a Cisco-based, fault-tolerant network with redundant Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to multiple Tier 1 backbone providers.

Hosting environment

Each carrier-grade datacentre meets stringent requirements including multiple power feeds from redundant power sources, continuously online UPS systems, redundant climate control, 24×7 manned guard stations, and institutional banking quality access procedures. All have emergency diesel generators with ample fuel on-site as well as negotiated arrangements for priority refuelling in the event of an extended utility power outage.

Redundant parallel systems

The Mail Protection architecture is modular and comprised of load balancers, front-end message processing servers, back-end filtering systems, supervisor modules and database servers. All of these systems – from the front-end load balancers to the back-end database servers – are redundant and running in parallel. Additionally, the application is designed for geographic diversity, with distributed logging and processing across multiple datacentres.

Proven software

Engineered to scale with the rapid growth of junk mail, the software used for Mail Protection is purpose-built and highly optimized. The third-generation software design uses modular scanning techniques for maximum flexibility and includes an adaptive system to detect emerging junk mail. The software is designed to avoid unnecessary use of disk at all opportunities, and through a variety of innovative techniques, can provide faster message processing, greater scalability and flexibility than traditional approaches to spam detection. The software has been proven through the processing of billions of messages for customers.

Monitoring

Each network component and each system within the Mail Protection service is continuously tested at the network-level and/or service-level by redundant monitoring systems. Furthermore, 24×7 full-path message monitoring tests real-world system performance across the application.

Management

Mail Protection’s management capabilities allow for fine-grained control over the handling of email threats, while requiring minimal or no time commitments from technical staff or email users.

Administrators can use the service’s easy-to-navigate web-based interface to manage a broad range of options related to the service, including parameters for inbound and outbound filtering, user management, message search, delivery logs, and statistical reporting. Administrators can apply configuration settings to a single user, a group of users, an entire domain, or multiple domains across an organization. While there is substantial flexibility in the configuration of the system for administrators who choose to take an active role in maintaining the service, the service is designed to work with little or no such management.

The same philosophy is true for end-users. At the discretion of system administrators, email users may access various functions of the management interface, such as their searchable junk mail quarantines, or their message queues in the event that their primary mail server is offline. That said, Mail Protection is designed to minimize the need for changes to end user behaviour. Users are not required to log into the interface, and instead can simply use features such as Mail Protection’s one-click whitelisting, summary digests, and selective tagging in order to manage their junk mail from their desktop.

Seamless integration

On-going management requirements are further simplified by Mail Protection’s seamless integration with a wide variety of email systems such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and many others. With secure and automated account synchronization via LDAP/LDAPS or other methods, Mail Protection relieves system administrators from having to maintain user data in multiple locations. And with a modular web services-based API, organizations can manage their email security from virtually any application.

Message handling

Mail Protection offers several options for handling of detected junk which can be established globally across one or more domains, or for one or more individual users, and which can be changed at any time. You can choose to:

  • Drop detected spam – an aggressive approach that reduces your network bandwidth requirements and mail server load. Due to Mail Protection’s extremely low percentage of false positives (legitimate email wrongly classified as spam), it is very rare that a legitimate email message will be dropped.
  • Tag and forward detected spam – with a modified subject line, incoming email can be automatically directed to a specific folder in each user’s email program for periodic review and/or deletion.
  • Redirect detected spam – junk mail can be directed to an alternative address, e.g., spam@example.com
  • Quarantine – junk messages are redirected to individual web-mail quarantine accounts that can be reviewed at any time by end users. The most common choice of larger businesses and ISPs, this approach reduces bandwidth requirements and mail server load for customers while providing complete assurance that no legitimate message will ever be lost.

Message digests

Customers can opt to receive periodic message digests, which provide each user a summary list of the junk email received for them. Digests can be sent as infrequently as once per week, or as frequently as several times per day, at times defined by the customer. Each digest includes a means to immediately release each message from the quarantine in case it is or may be legitimate, providing reassurance that no valid mail is being detected as spam.

Messaging analysis

Mail Protection uses a combination of techniques for spam and message analysis. While generally no single element will by itself classify a message as spam, the use of multiple methods in conjunction with each other reduces the number of false positives compared to other approaches to spam detection.

Mail Protection continually refines its message analysis techniques, with a focus on adaptive technologies to detect evolving spam patterns. Mail Protection incorporates techniques such as:

  • Authenticity checks including detailed header analysis, SMTP conversation details, message encoding and formatting, etc.,
  • Message fingerprinting to compare email signatures to frequently-updated public and internal databases of known spam messages.
  • An extensive, continually updated Heuristic Rule Set that encompasses message headers, body text, and other characteristics of both English and non-English language messages.
  • Public and private blacklists of mail servers, relays, or networks known to be used by spammers.
  • Extensive URI databases of unique elements such as URLs, phone numbers, and physical addresses known to be used by spammers.
  • Incorporation of Domain history and reputation to increase the accuracy of blacklists and URI databases.
  • Real-time message source analysis to assess whether an increased volume of mail flow is simply a legitimate high-volume mailing, or the result of a spammer hijacking or the use of a ‘zombie’ network.
  • Dynamic feedback-based rules optimization to leverage feedback from thousands of Mail Protection service users, as well as from many monitored legitimate and ‘spam trap’ email addresses.
  • User-based message profiling that allows for refinement of message scoring for each user based on a history of his or her message traffic.
  • Customizable whitelists and blacklists which can be applied on an account-wide, organization-wide, domain-wide, or user-specific basis.

Working together, these elements accurately detect a very high percentage of spam, phishing emails, and other unwanted messages – while minimizing the chances of a legitimate message being detected as spam.

True continuity

Mail Protection provides organizations with peace of mind regarding their email via an integrated continuity service.

In the event that the customer’s mail server is temporarily down or inaccessible, Mail Protection acts as a message queue. No messages are lost, and people who send email to that organization don’t receive error messages; Mail Protection simply stores those messages and delivers them once the customer’s mail server is back online. It uses a timing algorithm to deliver queued messages to ensure that the customer’s mail server is not overwhelmed with a sudden barrage of queued messages once the server is back up and running.

More importantly, customers can access and respond to any queued messages via the Mail Protection control panel – allowing customers to continue their business-critical email communications even when their own mail infrastructure is off-line. This on-demand, full-fledged backup mail service is available at any time, without the need for customers to invest in hardware or software or to make any advance preparations other than normal use of the service.

With these features, Affinity IT provides companies with true email continuity under circumstances ranging from a brief, planned mail server upgrade, to a major network outage caused by a natural disaster.

Mailboxes Price per Mailbox*
1-99 £1.25
100-249 £1.15
250-999 £1.05
1,000+ £1.00
*Price is per mailbox, per month and excludes VAT.

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