The City College of New York

CHALLENGES

  • Dramatically improve email security effectiveness to proactively protect end users
  • Move from an appliance-based solution to a virtual deployment to reduce costs
  • Minimize IT’s administrative tasks via an easy-to-use Web controls and interface

SOLUTION

  • Proofpoint Enterprise Protection

RESULTS

  • Single solution to thwart sophisticated phishing, virus, spam, and other malicious attacks
  • Reduced annual IT costs by up to 
    40 percent by switching to a 
    virtual solution
  • Improved users' productivity by keeping in boxes free of unwanted messages

CHALLENGE: Costly Appliance-based Solution Doesn't Make the Grade
The City College of NY (CCNY) is focused on excellence across the board – striving to provide the highest level of teaching, research, and services for undergraduate and graduate students. That same drive for quality is applied to the College's IT infrastructure and associated technology products, so when its existing message security solution was delivering sub-par performance, CCNY took immediate action.

"We were using an appliance-based product, which dramatically slowed inbound email and required ongoing IT maintenance to manage numerous hardware and software upgrades," said Praveen Panchal, Vice President of IT for The City College of New York. "The effectiveness was nowhere near our standards and meanwhile, was costing us significant IT dollars and resources."

As one of 24 educational institutions within the CUNY (The City University of New York) network, the College decided to look within to find out what products others were using to successfully keep email threats at bay. The inquiry pointed to one solution – Proofpoint Enterprise Protection – with more than half of CUNY's schools relying on Proofpoint for comprehensive email security.

"I used Proofpoint in my previous role at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was incredibly impressed with the solution, and they are still using it today," said Panchal. "Proofpoint has a great reputation, with strong references from other schools, and provides better performance than competitive offerings, at a lower cost."

In addition, CCNY required a virtual solution that could easily be deployed within its existing IT environment, which at the time, was 90 percent virtualized. And most importantly, the College wanted proven, proactive malware protection – to accurately detect and filter inbound attacks in order to stop phishing attempts, spam, and viruses from reaching end users. Proofpoint was the clear way to go.

SOLUTION: Virtual Deployment Delivers A+ Proactive Performance
Before rolling out Proofpoint Enterprise Protection college-wide, CCNY created a test environment, running the solution for two weeks in audit mode to fine-tune configurations and assess performance. Pleased with the results, the IT group then created virtual machines for the production environment, ready to extend protection to its 3,700 student and staff mailboxes.

"Being able to deploy Proofpoint within our virtual environment was critical," said Panchal. "We save significant dollars on hardware, energy, and storage costs, plus the ease of deployment and administration frees up the availability of internal resources."

With Proofpoint's anti-spam filter, users now rely on email for seamless communications, with unwanted or malicious messages automatically blocked. The easy-to-use, self-service spam digest gives users the flexibility to review quarantined mail, select and release if needed, and the ability to opt-in and out of various anti-spam policies.

With phishing attempts growing in sophistication and users' confidential information at stake, CCNY also relies on Proofpoint's Phishing Protection filters, powered by patented Proofpoint MLX machine learning technology. The solution examines millions of attributes in every email to accurately filter phishing messages, quarantining these separately from spam and bulk messages for further administrator review. This approach prevents phishing messages from being released by end users, providing a necessary tool to triage any attack and provide the around-the-clock security that CCNY required.

RESULTS: Cost Savings Rule the School
As a result of deploying Proofpoint, CCNY cites four top benefits: strong email security, minimal IT intervention, improved user productivity, and significant cost savings. The move from its previous email security solution to Proofpoint will generate an anticipated savings of 30 to 40 percent annually for the College – an impressive reduction.

CCNY relies on Proofpoint's extensive reporting to demonstrate value and effectiveness to the organization's executives, measuring how many emails were filtered and phishing attacks averted – two key performance indicators (KPIs) for IT.

"Proofpoint plugged right into our virtual environment, proving to be the perfect match for our security and messaging needs," said Panchal. "And, with Proofpoint's enterprise privacy, encryption, and archiving capabilities, we have a solution in place that can grow as our data security and compliance initiatives continue to expand."

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