As an academic institution, Foothill-De Anza is committed to providing an open, consensusbuilding environment that ensures the free exchange of ideas. Therefore, the district needed to find a way to protect email users from spam, viruses and other email attacks without blocking their access to important information.
In January 2004, Foothill-De Anza installed a firewall to provide anti-spam and anti-virus protection. The firewall uses pattern-detecting software to identify suspect messages and performed fairly well at first, blocking 84% of spam and viruses. But after three years and 75 million messages, it was clear that the stand-alone firewall could not keep up with the increased traffic or the growing sophistication of spammers. Complaints from email users began to soar, and the district decided to look for a complementary solution.