Implementation

What is involved in implementing the Acarté MailProtection service?

All that is necessary is a change in your DNS records, so that the 'MX' (mail exchanger) entries for your domain point to Acarté MailProtection's systems. After that change has been made, your email will be redirected through Acarté MailProtection’s filters before being automatically delivered to your mail server.

What is an MX record?

A mail exchanger (MX) record identifies the location of a domain’s mail server. The record directs computers on the Internet where to send email for a specific domain. Unfortunately, the record also informs spammers of the location of a domain’s mail server. By changing the MX record, a company can re-route its inbound email to Acarté MailProtection, which filters messages for spam and viruses and then delivers the clean email to the company’s mail server.

Is there any downtime necessary to implement Acarté MailProtection's service?

There is no downtime involved in implementing Acarté MailProtection. The set-up process is fast, and does not affect or delay your inbound or outbound email.

How soon will we start seeing results?

Typically, Acarté MailProtection begins working within a few hours of the DNS change, and often within a few minutes for a significant percentage of your inbound email. In order for all of your inbound messages to be filtered, the changes to your domain's MX record must fully propagate through the Internet. The (TTL) setting within your domain’s DNS specifies how quickly these changes should take effect; TTL values generally range from one hour to 24 hours. There is no interruption to your mail flow during any of this time.

Reliability and server back-up

How reliable is Acarté MailProtection?

Acarté MailProtection's network and software architecture have been designed to handle both the rapidly growing volume of email and the heavy peak loads that are characteristic of SMTP traffic. Acarté MailProtection leverages multiple datacenters and has no single point of failure. We also provide guaranteed uptime via a service level agreement that is part of all customer agreements.

Will we experience delays in receiving messages?

No. Acarté MailProtection typically processes a message in less than a second. Customers do not notice any delays in the delivery of email.

What happens if our mail server goes down?

In the event that a customer's mail server is inaccessible, the Acarté MailProtection system acts as a message queue so that emails will be delivered to the customer once the mail server is back online. Acarté MailProtection uses a timing algorithm to gracefully deliver those queued messages, to ensure that the customer’s mail server is not overwhelmed with a sudden barrage of inbound mail.

Additionally, the service includes full email continuity, so that customers can access and respond to any messages in queue, via the Acarté MailProtection web interface. With this capability, customers can continue using email even in the event of an emergency affecting their own email systems.

Security

How secure is the privacy of my email?

The Acarté MailProtection service does not affect your email's security. First of all, email itself is inherently not secure. Email messages are sent in clear, unencrypted plain text format across many networks and often through multiple mail servers before arriving at their destination. Essentially, Acarté MailProtection's service represents only an additional 'hop' on the Internet before email is delivered to a company's mail server.

Acarté MailProtection does not store or make copies of email messages, other than for a short period of time (i.e., for the length that a message may be stored in quarantine or queue). Additionally, there are stringent security measures in place to prevent any unauthorized physical or electronic access to the Acarté MailProtection systems.

Spam detection and handling

How does Acarté MailProtection determine which messages are spam?

Acarté MailProtection employs an extensive range of tests on incoming messages to detect spam. These include traditional, widely used approaches for spam detection such as message authenticity checks, header analysis, message signature analysis, databases of domain names and addresses used by spammers, and whitelists and blacklists. Acarté MailProtection also incorporates advanced, industry-leading proprietary techniques such as real-time message source analysis, graphics analysis, and user-based message profiling.

What happens to messages that are detected as spam?

You have several options for handling the spam messages detected by Acarté MailProtection. Junk messages can be (1) redirected to a Acarté MailProtection-hosted quarantine, (2) redirected to an alternative email address such as spam@yourcompany.com, (3) identified as spam in the subject line and delivered to the intended recipient, or (4) deleted. These options can be configured company-wide or on a per-user basis, and can be changed at any time.

What percentage of junk email does Acarté MailProtection catch?

The detection rate varies by customer and is based on the email traffic patterns for a given domain, and on Acarté MailProtection’s aggressiveness for that domain (customers can configure how aggressive the filter should be). On average, Acarté MailProtection blocks over 98% of junk email and 100% of email-borne viruses.

What are whitelists and blacklists?

Whitelists are rules that allow messages to be delivered based on their 'from' email address or domain name, regardless of content. If you would like to guarantee that all messages from yourcustomer.com, for example, will not be flagged as spam regardless of what those messages contain, you can simply add that domain to your whitelist. Conversely, blacklists are rules that block messages based on the domain name or email address of the sender. Whitelists and blacklists can also be based on the source IP address of the sending mail server, the subject line of the message, or other characteristics of the message.

Virus detection

Is Acarté MailProtection a substitute for our current antivirus software?

We do not recommend that customers eliminate their current virus protection, because viruses can be spread through means other than email. That said, over 90% of viruses are transmitted through email. As viruses have become more prevalent and more damaging, organizations increasingly are complementing their existing server- and workstation-based security with another layer of protection at their Internet gateway (as Acarté MailProtection provides) as an additional defense.

How often are Acarté MailProtection’s antivirus definitions updated?

Acarté MailProtection’s antivirus definitions are updated in near real-time. These frequent updates can protect an organization against fast-moving viruses that may not be caught with an internal antivirus solution. Additionally, Acarté MailProtection incorporates a zero-hour antivirus solution that can detect email threats at the time of an initial outbreak, before those threats can be detected by traditional signature-based antivirus engines.

Compatibility

Does Acarté MailProtection work with Lotus Notes?

Yes. Acarté MailProtection works seamlessly with any mail server that you are using. As a managed service, Acarté MailProtection is compatible with widely used programs such as Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise, and Lotus Notes, as well as any other mail server software.

Does Acarté MailProtection support Macintosh, Linux, or Unix environments?

Yes. Acarté MailProtection is a service rather than a product, and no software needs to be installed on your mail server or at workstations. Therefore, Acarté MailProtection supports any mail server, any email client, and any operating system(s) in use at a given organization.

If my company hosts email at an external provider, will Acarté MailProtection work?

Yes. Many companies use an externally hosted email server, in addition to or in lieu of an internal mail server. Acarté MailProtection works correctly regardless of where a company's mail server or servers are located.

Integration

Do we need to integrate Acarté MailProtection with our existing mail server?

No - Acarté MailProtection will work successfully without any changes to an organization’s existing mail infrastructure and without any integration with that mail infrastructure. For ISPs and enterprise customers, we recommend that Acarté MailProtection’s user management and authentication functions be integrated with the customer’s infrastructure to reduce the need for any ongoing management of email accounts.

What options for integration does Acarté MailProtection provide?

Acarté MailProtection has been designed to integrate seamlessly with a wide array of infrastructures. This ensures that email addresses, aliases, and authentication information can be automatically synchronized between Acarté MailProtection and an organization’s internal system(s). This includes automated synchronization via standard protocols such as LDAP and LDAPS, as well as database-based synchronization.

Are there any extra charges for integration?

No. Acarté MailProtection views integration as a means to ensure ongoing ease of management for customers, and all features related to integration are included in the standard pricing for the service.

Billing

Are there any set-up fees or implementation costs?

No. Since Acarté MailProtection is a managed service, there is no hardware or software to purchase and no one-time fees. There is simply a per-user price, based on the number of users who are enrolled for filtering.

How is my organization billed?

Acarté MailProtection is a subscription service. Customers generally are billed monthly, with pricing based on the number of email accounts using the service.

Do I have to pay for aliases?

No. Alias accounts are filtered for spam and viruses, but they are not billed.