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Postini Security Services
Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are Postini’s email security services?
A: Postini provides a comprehensive suite of web-managed services for protecting enterprise email systems from
spam, viruses, directory harvest attacks and other types of email-borne attacks. Our services also enable
administrators to more effectively monitor and manage their email systems, regardless of server vendor type,
hardware platform or location.

Q: What type of anti-spam technology does Postini use to filter spam?
A: Postini’s anti-spam engine is based on our own patent-pending technology that utilizes thousands of heuristics-based expressions designed to check specific parts of every message – from the IP level through the message content. Postini is able to analyze all text and HTML parts of each message.

Q: How does Postini differ from other solutions?
A: In order to thwart reference database methodologies that match incoming messages to “spam profiles” that
are based on previously received spam messages, spammers find creative ways to make each spam message
look unique. Since Postini’s anti-spam engine analyzes the content of each and every message on its individual
characteristics– even if it doesn’t fit the profile of previous spam messages – we are able to catch more junk

Q: What type of anti-virus technology does Postini use to filter viruses?
A: Postini email security services incorporate virus-filtering tools from McAfee® Security, a leading virus protection software company. Our anti-virus capabilities deliver the ultimate defense against the ravages of viruses, worms, and other malicious code, before they have a chance to unleash their destructive payloads into your network. Postini supplements core AV engines with additional processing to recognize specific MIME characteristics, message fragments, and more.

Q: How do Postini services work?
A: Through simple DNS modification, all email messages intended for a company’s mail servers flow through Postini for real-time pre-processing before delivery to an end-users “inbox.” If junk mail or virus-infected messages are detected, the messages can be tagged, delivered to an alternate mailbox or directed to a password-protected quarantine area for review and disposition.

Q: Does Postini’s processing delay message delivery?
A: Unlike other ‘store and forward’ solutions using standard email server technology; with Postini, messages are
processed in real-time – literally within milliseconds – so there is no detectable latency. Postini regularly
instruments elapsed time of email flow through the process to ensure we are meeting the performance
requirements of our customers.

Q: How is this process secure? Is there exposure to individual email messages?
A: Legitimate messages are not written to disk. Postini’s patent-pending email processing technology allows
messages to be processed in real-time as the packets flow through the Postini servers. This ensures that Postini does not expose customer data to hackers or potential loss of data. Postini’s filters process all email with no direct human contact with mail flow or individual messages. Mail messages are processed within milliseconds and immediately passed through to the customer’s mail server. In the case of suspicious email, the message can be broken down into sections with a hashed file name and then directed to a secure, private, web-hosted quarantine (Message Center). Password-protected personal message centers are assigned to each email user for reviewing suspicious email. Some customers choose to have a collective message center that is assigned to a designated administrator, or for Postini to ‘tag and deliver’ suspicious messages.

Q: Is Postini less secure than software or hardware installed behind the firewall?
A: No. Starting with our message processing architecture and our network layout and access control, Postini
ensures that customer data is safe and secure. Software processes handle messages in real-time; access
between machines is tightly regulated; and redundancy across the clusters is deployed to ensure high availability. Postini performs regular vulnerability assessments to ensure that our measures for securing customer data are state of the art.

Q: What are the advantages of deploying email security as a web managed service?
A: Because Postini’s protection begins at the place of origin of spam and viruses – the Internet – we are able to
catch suspicious email before it reaches a company’s network. In addition, we are uniquely able to intercept
Directory Harvest Attacks (DHAs) (used to steal or harvest email addresses), which can only be done in the SMTP connection stream at the Internet gateway. Unlike solutions that are deployed at the network gateway or at the workgroup server, we are able to keep networks and servers free of malicious attacks and bandwidth-hogging junk email. In addition, network delivered managed services are typically a more cost-effective solution. Unlike software or appliance solutions, Postini services require virtually no integration and can be deployed in as little as a few days. Once deployed there is minimal maintenance required and updates are made automatically, at no extra charge. Costs are more predictable, since they’re based on a consistent monthly fee. Our services pose little financial risk – customers pay a predictable monthly fee and services can be discontinued just a quickly as they are deployed, with no disruption.

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