Harrisonburg City Public School deploys SpamTitan to ease the burden of combating email spam in schools

Read how SpamTitan Gateway protected over 5000
mailboxes in this school.

“Spam often contains inappropriate or offensive subject matter and we needed to protect our students, staff and network from that”
Harrisonburg City Public Schools

Network Administrator

The Challenge of Inappropriate Email Spam in Schools

  • Located in the heart of Virginia’s scenic Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg City Public Schools has approximately 750 staff and 4,400 students spread across six different schools and one technical center.
  • Having become increasingly reliant on email, Harrisonburg discovered that dealing with spam was becoming increasing time-consuming task. “We have roughly 1,050 email accounts for our staff and students,” said Dwayne Hottinger, Harrisonburg’s Network Administrator. “Each of those accounts was being hit by about 100 emails a day.”
  • While the current anti-spam solution blocked a large proportion of the incoming spam, an unacceptably high volume of non-spam (ham) emails were also blocked.
  • To make the situation worse, the solution did not provide an easy and speedy mechanism for users to access the misidentified messages; instead, IT staff had to hunt for them. “We were running an open source spam filter,” recalls Hottinger. “The product generally worked well, but searching for the emails that had been wrongly quarantined was taking up way too much of my time.”

Harrisonburg IT department decided that the time had come to look for an alternative solution, for which Hottinger identified three key requirements:

  • Comprehensive protection from spam and other email-borne threats;
  • The responsibility for spam management needed to be shifted from IT to end-users;
  • Easy deployment and easy management.

The Solution

  • “I looked at a number of options, including a Barracuda appliance, but decided that SpamTitan was the best fit for our profile,” said Hottinger. “The product promised accurate detection, end-user spam controls and didn’t require any high-end hardware.
  • SpamTitan was also considerably cheaper than any of the other products I looked at.” Harrisonburg installed SpamTitan in early 2007. According to Hottinger, “Setup was extremely easy. I downloaded SpamTitan ISO and had SpamTitan up and running in under 30 minutes. No configuration or tuning was necessary; it worked right out of the box.”
  • “Spam often contains inappropriate or offensive subject matter and we needed to protect our students from that. SpamTitan has done an excellent job of ensuring that such material doesn’t find its way into their inboxes.”
  • SpamTitan is a turn-key email security solution which has been designed to be easily managed by organizations of all size, even those with extremely limited in-house technical resources.
  • Some anti- spam solutions do not provide end-users with a mechanism to access quarantined items, SpamTitan, however, provides end-users with complete control over their own spam via Quarantine reports. A digest of quarantined emails is delivered to end-users and, using the links in the digest, users can specify whether an email is to be delivered, deleted or its sender whitelisted.
  • “The feedback I’ve had from both faculty and staff has been very positive. They like seeing the emails that have been marked as spam and being able to choose to deliver or delete them.” SpamTitan also has only a minimal management overhead. Hottinger says that managing SpamTitan takes under 30 minutes a week.

The Results

“SpamTitan enabled me to put spam management in hands of staff and students, and that alone has saved me a significant amount of time. SpamTitan is extremely easy to manage. It’s auto updating and needs no tuning at all. I did an upgrade last week, and even that took less than 10 minutes. Everything is well researched and tested prior to being released.”

Low cost

Starting at $395 SpamTitan is significantly less expensive than competing solutions, brining enterprise- class security within easy reach of the smaller business.

Rapid deployment

SpamTitan can be installed and configured in under 30 minutes.

Enterprise-class security

100,000 junk messages blocked each day.