McAfee Spam Filter Improves IT Department Performance at Berendsen

Berendsen Textil Service is a value-added provider of textiles and hygiene articles to hotels, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public institutions in nine European countries. With headquarters in Søborg, Denmark, this outsourcing company has a staff of 1,500; 70 staff members work out of the main office.

A few of years ago, the IT department at Berendsen Textil Service (Berendsen) was spending so many hours on spam that there was little time left for long-term development and maintenance of the IT structure. Berendsen IT manager Klaus Nissen decided that a more long-term solution was needed.

Email security used to be restricted to individual servers and PCs. Berendsen needed a complete, self-contained solution to facilitate the installation of security software on individual clients and dealing with the viruses received in spam mail on staff PCs.

The market for email security solutions was analysed thoroughly and the choice fell on McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance 3100. Berendsen already had three years’ experience with McAfee products — three years without any serious security problems. But the main reason for choosing McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance 3100 was that it showed the best results of the many security solutions tested.

The acquisition of McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance 3100 has freed up major resources at Berendsen. The small appliance box from McAfee has reduced the time spent by the IT department on emergencies and freed up more time for analysis and planning.

Saving hundreds of hours
Today, there is no doubt in Nissen’s mind that Berendsen made the right choice. “The appliance box from McAfee sorts all incoming and outgoing traffic, blocks malicious web sites and even blocks internal traffic on individual workstations,” says Nissen. “The box contains a spam filter that stops 99 percent of all incoming spam. In the past seven months, the filter found and blocked spam and phishing in no less than 170,600 instances — or 772 times a day.”

The box also provides ample opportunity for the customisation of security. For example, specific types of email, capital letters, $ signs, or entire domains can be blocked. Also, particular email scores specifying the security threat can be manually assigned. This score is specified on the basis of experience gained by Nissen and the IT department from actual spam activity.

Berendsen staff also has access to use an Outlook submission tool to send spam that bypasses the filter to the IT department. The IT department can then examine and block similar spam.

“Ten to 20 percent of emails received by our staff used to be spam. Today, they hardly receive any spam,” explains Nissen. “Before we got our McAfee mailbox we spent an estimated 30 minutes per month per employee on spam-related maintenance and support. We have 1,500 employees of whom 500 use email, so we save quite a few man-hours.”

"The McAfee appliance box has improved the work experience in the IT department. We used to have to rush out to clean up viruses on staff computers, but today we are able to spend our time more constructively on analyses and preventive measures. It makes going to work a lot more fun."

Klaus Nissen
IT manager, Berendsen

“McAfee thinks bigger”
One of the advantages of the McAfee products emphasized by Nissen is their unique integration. McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance 3100 is easily integrated with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), the McAfee security policy management tool. The software can be managed from the same console and the integration increases the report-and-statistics generating facilities, thus enabling Berendsen to apply security knowledge across the organization.

Nissen is satisfied with the strategy followed by McAfee in recent years. “McAfee currently supplies a security concept, a complete security solution that incorporates security in the company IT system wherever possible. This gives us an overall view and better control over our security. I particularly like the inventory function that provides an overview of locations and security status on all PCs at Berendsen.”

In Nissen’s view, the most important benefit is that the IT department now has time for priority tasks. “The McAfee appliance box has improved the work experience in the IT department. We used to have to rush out to clean up viruses on staff computers, but today we are able to spend our time more constructively on analyses and preventive measures. It makes going to work a lot more fun.”

Berendsen Textil Service

Customer profile

Value-added provider of textiles, hygiene, and safety products for hotels, hospitals, and other service institutions

Industry

Textiles

IT environment

The Berendsen data centre comprises 90 servers distributed on physical and virtual server environments

Challenges

Needed an email scanning system that was capable of meeting the challenges of a company as large as Berendsen; too many resources wasted on spam – IT department provided support, and bandwidth was wasted

McAfee solution

Berendsen chose McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance 3100 – a gateway appliance solution that scans all incoming email for spam and viruses. It consists of an appliance box that filters all email content and monitors web traffic

Results

  • Reduces time for staff support provided by the IT department
  • Ninety-nine percent of spam is blocked; bandwidth is freed up as spam no longer takes up capacity
  • IT can roll out anti-virus .DAT updates in hours rather than days