Case Study: Taking Spam Off the Radar: Page 2

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Layers of Scrutiny

Knauseder says Proventia Mail began stemming the flow of spam from day one. Based on six different email analysis processes, Proventia Mail is able to filter out unsolicited spam, while also protecting users from junk mails with dangerous attachments that could contain viruses.

Using 10 different mail classifiers, the Proventia solution begins with a spam database that contains more than 200,000 spam samples. The mail filter recognizes the slightest variation of junk mail, providing end users with updates four times a day. Most types of unwanted spam have one characteristic in common: URL links. Because junk mail is all about advertisements, they must lead readers to a place where a sales transaction can be made, and that place is typically a Web site.

When Proventia Mail Filter encounters a URL, it checks that Web address against the vendor's database to see whether it comes from a legitimate source or a source of spam.

For those messages that make it through this first layer of defense, they must then face keyword analysis, a statistical online classifier, heuristic methods, and a check of the sender's email address against a database of known addresses.

Since the implementation of Proventia Mail Filter, the airport's spam problem has been dramatically reduced.

''Proventia blocked more than 15,000 junk mails in the first three months alone,'' Knauseder says.

Knauseder notes that with this mail filter Salzburg Airport was able to improve the working environment for employees and protect them from the dangers connected with junk mail. Now its 250 employees are no longer distracted by spam that is disguised as legitimate e-mail, and no one wastes time purging spam from inboxes. All that attention now goes where it belongs -- to customer service.

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