Customers

Mary Kay Inc.

Mary Kay Inc. Gets an Email Makeover with Proofpoint

BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Mary Kay Inc. is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world, with more than 1.5 million Mary Kay independent beauty consultants in more than 30 markets worldwide. More than 600,000 of these independent business owners have signed up for a Mary Kay email address. Any emails they receive at that address are forwarded by the company to the consultant's personal email account. This system became problematic, though, with the exponential increase in the amount of spam that consultants were receiving. That situation resulted in some ISPs putting Mary Kay domain on block lists, because they read the company's domain name on spam that Mary Kay's system had automatically forwarded on to consultants. Mary Kay needed to be able to identify and eliminate spam before it was forwarded to avoid ISPs blocking legitimate email that the company's independent sales force members needed in order to conduct business.

PROOFPOINT SOLUTION
Mary Kay deployed the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway™ appliance, equipped with Proofpoint Spam Detection™ and Proofpoint Virus Protection™ modules, which eliminates unsolicited email and viruses at the network gateway. Proofpoint's email firewall, with Proofpoint MLX Dynamic Reputation™ technology and SMTP traffic control features, automatically drops malicious and "spammy" connections to defend against network-level attacks and increase anti-spam effectiveness.

RESULTS ACHIEVED
Mary Kay realized immediate results with Proofpoint. Proofpoint captures and quarantines more than 400,000 unsolicited email messages each day with near perfect accuracy and helps to ensure that Mary Kay's domain name is not included on any ISPs' block lists.

PRODUCTS DEPLOYED

  • Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway
  • Proofpoint Content Compliance
  • Proofpoint Spam Detection
  • Virus Protection(F-Secure Version)

During our evaluation phase, we tested the Proofpoint appliance in our production environment, processing our live mail stream. Proofpoint worked so well during the evaluation that once we stopped the testing period, user complaints went through the roof. Proofpoint accurately stopped spam and responded quickly to new and emerging threats, with negligible false positives.

Daryl Smith,
Senior Technical Engineer
Mary Kay, Inc.

adventist HealthMARY KAY NEEDED TO CLEANSE ITS EMAIL STREAM Mary Kay Inc. is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world. The company, based in Addison, Texas, has more than 3,600 corporate employees and more than 1.5 million independent sales force members throughout the world.

Mary Kay maintains two separate mailing environments for its corporate employees and its independent sales force. Corporate employees receive their email directly from the Mary Kay mail server, but all sales force members' email is automatically forwarded to their personal email accounts. This solution worked well for Mary Kay and its independent sales force, at least until spam was introduced into the equation.

“We were receiving more than a half-million emails each day, and at least 75% of those emails were spam. We ran into real problems when we had to forward that unsolicited mail on to our independent sales force members,” said Daryl Smith, senior technical engineer at Mary Kay Inc. “Once the spam reached our beauty consultants' ISPs, the ISPs' anti-spam software picked it up and mistakenly thought that we were the actual spammers. We were consequently placed on some ISPs' block lists, impeding our consultants' ability to do business.”

Mary Kay had implemented an anti-spam solution, but found it challenging to keep up with the increasing sophistication of spam. Soon, thousands upon thousands of unsolicited emails were being automatically forwarded to independent sales force members each day. Mary Kay then began to look at messaging security solutions that would provide the company with more robust anti-spam and anti-virus capabilities. It evaluated the top players in the market, including Proofpoint, MailFrontier and CipherTrust.

“We really put each solution to the test and evaluated them extensively,” said Smith. “Our criteria were that we needed a solution that would stop spam, was easy to use and provided additional security features, such as an integrated firewall and throttling capabilities.”

PROOFPOINT SCRUBS SPAM AND VIRUSES FROM MARY KAY'S NETWORK
Following evaluation, Mary Kay decided to deploy the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway appliance. Smith says that Proofpoint offered the smoothest deployment, easiest management and best array of features out of all the solutions he tested. “Proofpoint struck a balance between having the best features and being easy to administer. It met all of our criteria.”

The Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway provides Mary Kay with the industry's most effective and accurate solution for enterprise messaging security. The appliance stops all spam and viruses at the network gateway, preventing them from ever reaching users' inboxes. For Mary Kay, this means that the spam is stopped before messages are forwarded on to the company's independent beauty consultants' personal email accounts. As a result, Mary Kay does not inadvertently make its way on to ISPs' block lists.

The Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway is based on Proofpoint MLX™ machine learning technology. MLX accurately eliminates spam by examining more than 200,000 structural and content attributes in every message, automatically adapting to address new threats.

During our evaluation phase, we tested the Proofpoint appliance in our production environment, processing our live mail stream. Proofpoint worked so well during the evaluation, that once we stopped the testing period, user complaints went through the roof," said Smith. “Proofpoint accurately stopped spam and responded quickly to new and emerging threats, with negligible false positives.”

Smith also reported that during the testing phase, he spoke to many customers of each of the product finalists. “Other Proofpoint users were so enthusiastic about both the product and the company. The feedback we received about Proofpoint was head and shoulders above the rest.”

MESSAGING SECURITY GATEWAY EASY TO APPLY
Smith says that the Proofpoint installation process was very smooth and that the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway offered high effectiveness right out of the box. “We didn't have to tune the software very much, but at the same time, Proofpoint does allow us to get under the hood and very easily do some fine-tuning.”

The high volume of inbound email made connection management and throttling capabilities key criteria in Mary Kay's evaluation of messaging security solutions. Proofpoint MLX Dynamic Reputation and SMTP traffic control features provide Mary Kay with the ability to automatically throttle or block IP connections that are malicious or are observed to be delivering large amounts of spam. These features greatly reduce the volume of mail that must be scanned for spam and viruses while thwarting denial-of-service and directory- harvest attacks.

Smith says that Mary Kay is currently evaluating Proofpoint to secure its outbound email stream as well. “The Proofpoint Digital Asset Security module looks really promising, as it protects confidential information from being leaked outside the company. We'd also like to be able to encrypt sensitive documents. Proofpoint has really stood out in our initial deployment, so finding new ways to use the product is really a no-brainer.”

ABOUT MARY KAY INC.
Mary Kay Inc., one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world, achieved another year of record results in 2004, exceeding $1.8 billion in wholesale sales. The Company's independent sales force includes more than 1.5 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants in more than 30 markets worldwide. Mary Kay Inc. has averaged double-digit annual growth since the Company's founding in 1963, and celebrates more than 42 years of enriching women's lives. The Mary Kay® product line includes more than 200 premium products in six categories: facial skin care, color cosmetics, nail care, body care, sun protection and fragrances.


Proofpoint, Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway, Proofpoint Content Compliance, Proofpoint Spam Detection, and Proofpoint Virus Protection are trademarks of Proofpoint, Inc. in the US and/or other jurisdictions. All other brands and product names are the property of their respective owners. Proofpoint case studies are presented for information purposes only and contain no warranties, express, implied or statutory, regarding the products or services described herein. Results from using Proofpoint products will vary. For questions on how Proofpoint's products and services might work best for your organization, please contact your local Proofpoint office for more information.

Copyright 2013 Proofpoint, Inc. All rights reserved.

©2014 Proofpoint, Inc.