Tualatin Valley and Fire Rescue

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) wanted to evolve to a more customizable email management and security solution so that the IT department could accommodate executive needs, regardless of whether the messages were inbound or outbound. The district also required more timely and precise tracking capabilities and a whitelist they could manage. After a referral from an existing local Proofpoint customer (City of Beaverton, OR) and a reference to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, TVF&R chose Proofpoint Enterprise Protection because it delivered inbound and outbound email security features—including anti-spam, anti-virus, email policy enforcement and message tracing on a cost-effective, cloud-enabled platform. Aside from the technology benefits, TVF&R was also able to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better accommodate the unique needs throughout the organization by deploying Proofpoint's cloud solution.

REBOUNDING SPAM
The volume of spam affecting Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue was rising. But putting the brakes on spammers is complicated and can be time consuming without an automated solution that allows IT and users to create and fine-tune the rules. Solutions that require the exchange of accepting or rejecting messages in a wholesale manner, such as the solution TVF&R previously had in place, led to a fair number of false positives throughout the district and consumed too many man hours inputting email aliases and addressing these types of issues. Because their existing email security solution was not correctly qualifying emails, many obvious spam messages were being sent to users. The daily digests sent to these users were large and took too much time to process. Proofpoint's solution more clearly defines what messages are spam, and users receive smaller digests much less frequently and subsequently don't have to spend time sorting through a digest of poorly identified email. Also, from a health and safety, as well as a management perspective, accuracy was extremely important since misidentified messages could contain vital information.

PRODUCTS DEPLOYED

  • Proofpoint Enterprise Protection™

SOLUTION
To improve the rate of false positives, TVF&R users and administrators needed to be able to identify non-spam messages and add the senders to their whitelist. Proofpoint Enterprise Protection gave email users easy, self-service control over their individual email preferences with personalized quarantines, personalized safelists and blocklists, and web-based access to quarantines and profile administration.

Plus, Proofpoint's cloud-based solution ensured smooth disaster recovery during an emergency and even during a subsequent Internet outage. Maintaining email communications is critical for first responders. And, as an organization that relies on email, especially during a major event, email is never lost.

“Our active directory (AD) organization is different because it's not very flat, but Proofpoint's rules flexibility enabled us to build quite a few totally customized AD queries. They work very well, and I don't have to think about them. It was set it and forget it, and for us, that's a big deal. We schedule the query twice a day so the information is up-to-date. If we create a new user, we don't have to go to Proofpoint and give the login to the admin console. It will automatically update at the next interval and grab that new email alias and start forwarding the messages that are sent to us,” said Blake Reed, IT supervisor at TVF&R.

Since the Proofpoint cloud solution doesn't require a hands-on approach, there's no need for a dedicated mail administrator. That frees up Reed's IT staff to focus on higher priority issues.

PRIVATE CLOUD OPTION 
Also, TVF&R is a VMware user and runs its own virtual environment. Proofpoint Enterprise Protection can be deployed as a virtual appliance, which fits with this existing infrastructure and offers an additional deployment option. With Proofpoint's deployment options, such as combining cloud with on-premises components, TVF&R can decide which email security challenges they want to move to the cloud, or which aspects the department wants to solve on-premises. TVF&R chose the option to deploy Proofpoint's solutions as a cloud solution for the time being, and plans to evaluate how to deploy additional functions in the future. With the need to always be prepared to operate in an emergency capacity, maintenance downtime can also be problematic, and was a pain-point with the department's previous solutions.

“Proofpoint has a good hosted model, and we haven't seen anything like it. As far as I know, there's no need for scheduled maintenance. That's the way a solution like this should work,” Reed remarked.

ABOUT TUALATIN VALLEY FIRE & RESCUE
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) provides fire protection and emergency medical services to approximately 440,000 citizens in one of the fastest growing regions in Oregon. The unit has 350 firefighters covering a 250 square mile service area, which services nine cities and unincorporated portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. The district manages 21 fire stations, a command and business operations center, a training facility, and two fire prevention offices. In 1999 and again in 2006, TVF&R received the prestigious International Association of Fire Chiefs' Fire Service Award for Excellence.