ProofPoint Update

Posted by Dennis Schmidt (Director of the Office of Information Systems). Sent over several listservs including SOMNews and MS1-MS4. 02.21.08.

As part of our testing of the Proofpoint antispam appliance over that past week, all incoming mail messages have been scanned by Proofpoint and assigned a spam score. Our observations have shown the spam scores to be very accurate, especially those that are assigned the highest score of 100. Shortly after 5:00 pm this evening, we began diverting all incoming messages with a spam score equal to 100 to a quarantine area. They will be held there for 14 days before being automatically deleted by the system. We believe that the false positives in this range will be near zero. We expect that this first step will result in a significant decrease in the volume of spam that hits your inbox.

We are still working with the vendor to correct two persistent problems that were induced by the installation of Proofpoint. We are seeing some significant delays up to several hours in the delivery of some messages, especially those being sent from outside of our domain. Some of that problem may be aggravated by the volume of mail being passed to our incoming mail handlers. The steps described in the first paragraph should ease the pressure on those servers.

The other problem involves our list server. Currently, mail sent to our list server from outside of our domain is being bounced with and error.  We are still working with the vendor to find a suitable solution.

Once we solve those two issues, we will focus on fine tuning the system so that we can increase the level of our spam filtering. We will also be working on the configuration of the quarantine system so that you will have individual control over how your spam messages are handled. We plan to have training and documentation available when we roll out that portion of the system.

We will update you periodically on our progress.

Dennis Schmidt

Dennis A. Schmidt, MS, CISSP
Director, Office of Information Systems
HIPAA Security Officer, School of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
76 MacNider Hall, CB#7045
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7045
voice: 919 966-9900, fax: 966-6923