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mail security
GCSIT Email Security

Email Filtering, Security and Business Continuity


GCSIT Email Security is a transparent network service designed to secure your email before it can damage your servers and workstations. It enforces your company policies and government compliance requirements and provides reporting, business continuity and even email access and collaboration when your Internet access or mail server is unavailable.

Deployment
GCSIT Email Security is a security network that processes email and only delivers the email you want to read down to your server. Every incoming and outgoing message is scanned for dangerous content. The security policies we work with you to define are applied to it, along with any archiving or government compliance requirements. GCSIT Email Security is part of the fastest growing global security network worldwide!

Message Delivery
GCSIT Email Security operates as a distributed cloud-based service, with decentralized administration, policy enforcement and archive with business continuity. What that means is that our network, spanning 2400 servers and 40 data centers with over 100 Gbit of Internet bandwidth, has no single point of failure and can adapt to network outages, distributed denials of attack, mail floods and more.

Security Enforcement
Once your Email is received by GCSIT Mail Security, the policy server is contacted and asked what to do with the email. Should we scan it for viruses? If so, what do we do with infected messages? What about disinfected messages? With over a thousand possible settings and policy configurations established in advance including our best practices and customizations for your company, this is the core of our service.

Business Continuity and LiveArchive
One of the most critical components of an external mail security solution is its
reliability. You need something that will be far more reliable than your own mail
infrastructure so, if you ever experience an outage, you have that extra layer of mail redundancy. GCSIT Email Security meets and exceeds that requirement through our LiveArchive business continuity service. It is a complete standalone email system with your users, your corporate identity and your passwords, running on a highly reliable, geo-redundant webmail system.


Complete Endpoint Security
GCSIT Email Security is often paired with GCSIT's industry leading Managed Anti-Malware service and Patch Management services. We call this GCSIT's Managed Endpoint Security Service. This bundle of services offers a complete endpoint security solution so your team can stop fighting viruses and focus on valuable strategic business initiatives.

pernix whacom header

Whatcom Community College is an accredited, comprehensive two-year college in Bellingham, WA. On its 72-acre campus and through on-line courses, Whatcom serves approximately 11,000 students annually. Ward Naf, IT Director, and Bill Zilinek, Desktop Manager, are responsible for the virtual desktop environment based on VMware Horizon (with View).

“We were experiencing 100 ms login times and spent almost a year troubleshooting,” lamented Mr. Naf, “all we seemed to get was finger pointing from each of our vendors. The only thing we all agreed on was that our infrastructure was overloaded.”

Completely Non-Disruptive and More Cost-Effective Upgrade

Mr. Zilinek considered many options including adding more servers, a $150k to $200k storage upgrade and Atlantis Computing. “All the options I considered were too expensive, and I wasn’t certain that even after a complex and time consuming upgrade our performance problems would be solved,” he remarked.

Eager for a solution addressing their performance concerns without disrupting the existing infrastructure based on Dell PowerEdge servers and EqualLogic storage, Messrs. Naf and Zilinek partnered with GCSIT to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) with PernixData FVP™ software and Intel S3700 server-side SSDs. “It was incredibly easy,” recalled Mr. Zilinek, “PernixData support was very knowledgeable, not only with FVP, but also with our VMware and Dell infrastructure.”

Real Value and Lower Cost

The decoupled storage architecture enabled by the PernixData FVP software delivered immediate and measureable results. Remarked Mr. Naf, “We instantly saw the performance improvements. Latency went from 100 ms down to 12 ms.” Mr. Zilinek also noticed that not only had the latency been dramatically lowered, the same hardware environment could now support 30% more concurrent users.

“We were looking for a solution to our performance problems,” declared Mr. Naf, “Luckily GCSIT, our solution provider, knew about PernixData FVP software. PernixData was the most cost effective solution and gave us the most bang for the buck.” Added Mr. Zilinek, “If you’re dealing with performance issues, take a look at PernixData before you rip-and-replace your hardware. It can give your infrastructure new life.

”As a result Whatcom Community College decided to standardize on PernixData FVP software to optimize the performance of their virtualized Oracle and SAP deployments.

As I am architecting network designs there are many protocols and technologies to consider, a few of them being First Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Virtual Port Channel (vPC), Routing Protocols like OSPF or EIGRP, and the necessary evil Spanning-Tree (STP).  Each of these protocols value a larger number vs. lower number differently from a priority perspective.  Some of these protocols use the lower value as a higher priority and others use a higher number as the higher priority. GCSIT Mail Security 

A perfect example of this is how STP treats its values versus how HSRP does.  With STP you can force a bridge to become the elected root by changing the bridge priority to a number that is lower than all other bridges.  On the other hand when you are configuring HSRP and want to control what switch becomes the HSRP active member you assign it a higher number than all other members participating in HSRP. 

The table below shows some of the common protocols and technologies that I tend to run into when doing network designs.  It is a good tool to reference to ensure I am using the proper numbers to net the desired effect. 

prioity chart 0415

 

Recently, one of our clients was hit with a zero day virus. A user opened an email containing an executable file that had a PDF icon. The malware immediately emailed itself to everyone in the unsuspecting user’s address book spreading rampantly throughout the organization. The virus made its way to another organization that our client had done business with and proceeded to infect them as well. This happened in a matter of minutes.

Fortunately for our client, they were subscribed to GCSIT Managed Endpoint Security Service. The client made a call to our helpdesk describing the situation and we obtained a copy of the malicious executable for analysis. A quick check of the executable revealed that only 4 out of 50+ anti-virus vendors had identified the malware previously.

Our helpdesk engineers immediately uploaded the file to our technology partner and within 15 minutes of initial notification, detection and mitigation processes were deployed to our client’s environment through our remote management agents and cleanup was under way.

As for the other organization that was infected, their anti-virus vendor did not detect the malware and days were spent trying to clean it up. They eventually enrolled in our Managed Endpoint Security Service and we were able to clean up the infection and provide continuous monitoring at less cost than they were previously paying to their anti-virus vendor.