LastSpam - Email Anti Spam Protection
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Technology - Services & Solutions

Technical FAQ
1. Why should we use LastSpam instead of appliance or software based solutions ?
2. Does LastSpam protect me against viruses or dangerous email contents ?
3. Is it possible to loose legitimate emails ?
4. What happens if our (or our ISP’s) email system goes down ?
5. Is email traffic delayed because it runs through LastSpam before reaching our gateway ?
6. Does the multi-site, multi-ISP infrastructure ever cause interruptions in service ?
7. Are there confidentiality concerns with having our email go through an external filtering source ?
8. Will our trial or evaluation of LastSpam cause a downtime during its activation ?
9. Can LastSpam offer other email security features ?
10. How exactly does LastSpam know which emails are legitimate ?
11. How flexible and customizable is LastSpam ?
12. Has LastSpam service ever crashed?


Why should we use LastSpam instead of appliance or software based solutions?

You may experience hidden and recurring fees with conventional antispam products.  They require continuous tuning and monitoring, which consumes staff time and requires knowledge and technical savvy.  They can destabilize or become unstable by occurrences in your actual environment.  

With LastSpam managed service approach, these problems do not exist.  By using LastSpam, you will also save considerable costly resources, including disk space, processing power, bandwidth, and employee time. Using our service will lead to significant cost savings, and does not require any installation at your site.

The techniques used by spammers are continually evolving and conventional software will only be accurate for a short period of time. Organizations using conventional products will eventually see an increase in the amount of spam that slips through, until the manufacturer provides an update, if it does at all. LastSpam's service is monitored daily and our engineers continuously update our countermeasures to protect against new spammer techniques.

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Does LastSpam protect me against viruses or dangerous email contents?

LastSpam includes the following protections against dangerous email content:

Multiple virus engines: We employ multiple virus scanning engines, including Norman Virus Control and its proactive SandBox Protection, to assure every email coming in to your inbox is malware-free.

File extension filtering: We block dangerous attachments, including, com, pif, bat, scr and many others. The block list can be customized according to your needs.

File type filtering: Sometimes, hacked modified files extensions are sent to fool the file extension filtering module. With our file type filtering protection, any dangerous file types (whatever the extension) are blocked.

Content filtering: Spammers and hackers use special techniques to try to infect and gain control of your systems. With our content filtering, dangerous script within emails or attacks like "phishing attacks" will be detected and stopped.

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Is it possible to loose legitimate emails?

After 4 years of research and thorough testing, we can assure you that the worse that could happen is that some Newsletters could be identified as SPAM. If this happens, simply whitelist the sender to correct the situation.

Our service is flexible. Considering our goal is to filter your unwanted and unsolicited email, and to save your resources, we take the philosophy that there is no point delivering all spam emails to your servers, even if they are tagged as such. Therefore, we usually keep on our systems the messages that are identified by our service as extremely likely to be spam, and forward potential Spam messages, tagged as such. This method has yielded very positive results, with only a minimal risk of not delivering a legitimate message.

With LastSpam, you will have no need to continuously whitelist and blacklist emails, there is no overhead, and the transition to our service is transparent to your users. That’s why our web site includes testimonials from our business and school district customers, who find compelling ROI reasons to use our service.  Some customers with thousands of mailboxes actually activated the LastSpam service without letting their user know there was a change underway. And they were extremely surprised to see the phone didn’t ring.

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 What happens if our (or our ISP’s) email system goes down?

LastSpam will hold your email for 5 days.

When LastSpam customers experience a downtime caused by the customer’s mail system, within minutes, LastSpam technical support staff will call the customer to let them know that there is a problem. Our customers appreciate that monitoring service.

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Is email traffic delayed because it runs through LastSpam before reaching our gateway?

The answer is no.  LastSpam is split across 3 physical sites using 3 different Internet Service Provider Links. Our infrastructure allows us to relay email to your organization within seconds. 

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Does the multi-site, multi-ISP infrastructure ever cause interruptions in service?

No. Never.

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Are there confidentiality concerns with having our email go through an external filtering source?

LastSpam does not store any legitimate email.  Legitimate email only passes through our filter, and is present only long enough to be scanned (a second or two at the longest).  Our infrastructure is protected with a sophisticated, multi-tiered security program.  From the perspective of someone trying to “sniff” Internet email traffic, you won’t be any less secure than you are presently. 

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Will our trial or evaluation of LastSpam cause a downtime during its activation?

For IT professionals, who understand that some internet DNS changes can take 24 to 78 hours to propagate, know that this is not required to activate LastSpam.  The registrars will stay the same, and the DNS servers responsible for your domain (zone file) will stay the same.  It is only one DNS record responsible for mail, known as the MX record that will be changed in order to direct your traffic through our filters. 

For most companies and ISPs, the default TTL (time to live) on the MS record is 86400 seconds (one day).  Then, as soon as you set the new MX records to point to LastSpam, within one day maximum, email traffic will begin to go through LastSpam first.  During the first day, some emails will go directly to you and some will filter through us as the transition takes place.  The new MX records created will have a smaller TTL of 600 seconds (10 minutes) to allow to stop the trial within 10 minutes if you so choose.

Note:  We recommend that you configure your mail server or firewall to only accept email communication (SMTP port 25) originating from our IP addresses.

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Can LastSpam offer other email security features?

LastSpam offers a very simple way to exchange encrypted email between your organization and any external users.  Please contact us for more information.  With this addition to your LastSpam service, you will be able to send even more secure email to external recipients without requiring them to install anything on their end. 

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How exactly does LastSpam know which emails are legitimate?

LastSpam uses sophisticated methods that are carefully and continuously configured and tuned to avoid creating false positives (this is when good email are erroneously identified as spam and blocked.  Our first layer of security runs checks to make sure senders respect RFC’s and other standards, and do not send messages like Spam robots and PC zombies do. Even before analyzing the content of email traffic, we are able to distinguish which come from legitimate SMTP (email) connections.  

We run multiple virus, file extension, file type, and content filtering checks. 

We use custom filters, in combination, which must agree (to minimize false positives) to take one of three actions: 1) Deliver the email; 2) Red flag the email and send it to the customer as potential spam (a very small % of emails are delivered this way, but this does occur when we are not sure if the email is legitimate or not); or 3) Block the email as spam (you will be able to access through a quarantine, as you wish). 

A typical LastSpam user with a history of receiving 400 Spam per day, will now end up receiving approximately 4 spam/day, that would, in all likelihood, be red flagged by our system as possible spam.

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How flexible and customizable is LastSpam?

We are extremely flexible, and our service can be customized according to your organization’s needs.

For example:

  • We can use your own prohibited file attachment list (.exe, com, vbs, scr etc.)
  • We can forward Spam to a specific container (such as, your exchange Public Folder).
  • We can employee some extra, more aggressive spam filtering processes for  specific email addresses, such as, information/sales, which receive a higher than average number of spam.
  • We can make some policy exceptions for some special department or users, as you may require.
The bottom line is that we will make sure our service fits the specific needs of your organization and users.

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Has LastSpam service ever crashed?

IIn our three years of serving customers, we have never experienced a service crash.  We have multiple locations and servers, and other assurances, to prevent this from happening.

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Please contact us with additional questions you may have!

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