New Enhanced Email Anti-Spam System
SMU has been using a single layer or tier secure email gateway (Symantec Anti-Spam) to protect the SMU community from email spamming and phishing attacks. However, the increase in spam and phishing cases reported over the past year is clear indication that our single tier secure email gateway is no longer effective or adequate in combating the sophisticated phishing attacks and spamming of today.
Implementing Proofpoint Anti-Spam System
To further enhance SMU’s defences and safeguard our users against rising volume of spam emails, the implementation of a multi-layer defence or in SMU’s case, a two-tier secure email gateway is a recommended route and is of immediate importance. The implementation of a second-tier or second-layer secure email gateway using Proofpoint Anti-Spam system complements and enhances the existing single layer secure email gateway in detecting, filtering and blocking unwanted/harmful emails more effectively.
Changes and Impact
With the implementation of Proofpoint, there will be some slight changes to the way users receives incoming emails. However, there will be not change to outgoing emails.
(a) Incoming Emails from the Internet
All incoming emails from the Internet will be subjected to a second scanning to remove undesirable emails. This will add a slight latency (delay) for the receipt of email. However, we wish to reassure our users that this latency would not be noticeable under normal circumstances.
(b) Quarantine Emails
With this implementation, all quarantined emails will be stored in the second-tier secured (Proofpoint Anti-Spam) email gateway so that our users need not access two places to look for their quarantined emails.
(c) Users’ Self-Service Portal
As all quarantined emails will be congregated into the Proofpoint Anti-Spam email gateway, all users should use the new portal for the management of their quarantined emails. The portal can be accessed via https://smuantispam.smu.edu.sg. Users can use their Active Directory User ID and password to logon to this portal. Kindly refer to the section “Users’ Self-Service Portal” for more details.
(d) Spam Quarantine Summary
Email messages that contain viruses, spam, or inappropriate content are sent to a quarantine area. This system may occasionally prevent valid email messages from reaching users’ email mailboxes. Therefore, we have made provision in the second-tier secured email gateway to send a Spam Quarantine Summary email to a user whenever a user has a quarantined email. This will enable the user to take notice and review the quarantined emails to ensure that legitimate emails are handled timely. Instructions on how to review and release quarantined messages are provided in the section “Spam Quarantine Summary Email” below.
(e) Good / Bad Senders’ Lists
Before the introduction of this second-tier secured (Proofpoint Anti-Spam) email gateway, users have been using the Good/bad Senders’ Lists in the existing email gateway. The same function and feature is also available in this new second-tier Proofpoint Anti-Spam. In general, whenever a user wished to block a bad sender, he/she can add it in the Bad Senders’ Lists in the new second-tier Anti-Spam.
Spam Quarantine Summary Email
When suspected email messages are placed in the anti-spam quarantine area, you will receive an email notification or alert with the subject title, Spam Quarantine Summary: XX Total Messages. An example of such an email is shown below:-
Clicking the options in this email will allow you to manage your quarantined messages. Messages placed in quarantine will be deleted after 21 days if you take no action.
The following actions are available from the End User Digest email message:
Users’ Self-Service Portal
Actions that can be triggered from the Spam Quarantine Summary email can also be triggered via the Users’ self-service portal - Proofpoint Web Application. If you no longer have a Spam Quarantine Summary email, login directly to the Users’ self-service portal using the URL - https://smuantispam.smu.edu.sg. A screenshot of the login page is shown below:-
The web application will default to the Quarantine page view that lists all your quarantined messages once you have logged in successfully. At the bottom left corner, you can also choose the Lists page where you can manage your safe/blocked senders lists.
From the Quarantine page you can manage your quarantined messages:
From the Lists page you can manage your Safe or Blocked Senders list:
The Safe Senders list is your list of approved senders of email. Safe Senders added to your list will still be inspected for a virus or inappropriate content. The Blocked Senders list contains addresses of people or mailing lists from whom you do not wish to receive any email.
Lists > Safe Senders List
List the addresses of senders whose messages you want to protect against being quarantined or deleted. For example, if you're on a mailing list that has always been quarantined, entering the sending address here will ensure that the message always gets through. You can enter a specific address (For example, firstname.lastname@example.org) to allow only a specific sender, or you can enter the domain by itself (For example,goodisp.com) to allow all messages from that source.
Lists > Blocked Senders List
List the addresses or domains of senders whose messages you never want to see. Note that blocking senders is often ineffective against spam because spammers constantly alter their sending addresses in order to defeat filters like this. This tool is useful for blocking messages from senders who use a particular constant address.
From the Lists page you can manage your Safe/Blocked Senders Lists