Cisco Email Security Appliance

Pioneer in Online Auctions Places a Winning Bid with Cisco IronPort Email Security

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Headquarters: Poznan, Poland
Market Area: Eastern Europe
Business: Online auction hosting, online payment systems, price comparison services, online classified advertisements and more
Year Founded: 1999
Customer Base: Over 10 million users
●	Proprietary operating system to ensure the email infrastructure is never overwhelmed
●	The industry’s most effective reputation and virus outbreak filters
●	Maximized throughput to deliver critical mail much faster than most traditional systems
●	Single gateway appliance with hassle-free, low-maintenance management helps ensure low total cost of ownership (TCO)

As one of Eastern Europe’s leading e-commerce platforms, the Allegro Group relies exclusively on email to conduct its business transactions, which include general merchandise and trading, as well as automotive and real estate auctions.

With the proliferation of spam and viruses, the fast-growing Poland-based business demanded an email security system that would protect its outbound and inbound flow of email traffic by helping to ensure that client notifications, bidding schedules, pricing comparisons, and subscriptions would not be jeopardized by malicious traffic infiltrating its expanding network.

The Situation

Operating as a unit of Naspers (a multinational provider of electronic media and print media products), the Allegro Group has grown to more than 1100 employees throughout Eastern Europe, with branch offices located in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, the Ukraine, and Hungary.

The expanding organization required an agile security system to help ensure that its email-based commerce would not be compromised by Internet threats. Allegro demanded a low-maintenance solution that would deliver zero false positives and result in minimal downtime, regardless of traffic volumes. Following an extensive search and rigorous testing, the organization turned to Cisco® to help meet its security needs.

Technical Challenges

With more than 100 servers sending email through its system, 550 employees at its headquarters, and a rapidly growing customer base in excess of 10 million users across Eastern Europe, Allegro required an upgrade to its existing threat solution that would safeguard the basis for all of its commercial exchanges: email.

Allegro’s existing system proved unable to keep up with the demands of this dynamic organization. Its legacy system was unreliable and demanded frequent manual updates and filter reconfigurations to prevent spam, viruses, and other malware from penetrating its system and jeopardizing the speed and reliability its online customers expect.

The Cisco IronPort Advantage

In the Cisco IronPort® C-Series Email Security Appliance, Allegro found a low-maintenance, problem-free solution to help ensure the uninterrupted flow of legitimate email traffic. Built on the revolutionary Cisco IronPort AsyncOS® operating system, the all-in-one appliance consolidates the capabilities of multiple servers by employing a range of email management and security applications. Designed to meet the unique demands of email-based enterprises like Allegro, the Cisco IronPort C-Series helps ensure timely, secure interaction with customers, while protecting their reputations across the complex Internet landscape.

Cisco IronPort appliances utilize Cisco IronPort SenderBase®, the world’s largest email and web traffic monitoring system, drawing on data from over 100,000 organizations, comprising more than 30 percent of global Internet traffic. SenderBase powers revolutionary features such as Cisco IronPort Virus Outbreak Filters, which identify virus threats in real time at their initial outbreak and quarantine them for scanning (typically several hours before traditional anti-virus signatures are made available). Cisco also delivers the industry’s best spam prevention and protection, without creating burdensome false positives.

By deploying unique DomainKeys technology, the Cisco IronPort C-Series appliance digitally signs each outbound message to establish Allegro’s identity with its email recipients and protect its reputation on the Internet. Additionally, for superior protection of its marketing and transactional mail, Cisco IronPort Virtual Gateway technology provides the company with consistent control over all its critical outbound messaging. The system promotes responsible interaction with recipient servers by providing users with easy management of the number of connections and rates of delivery.

Cisco provides Allegro with easy configuration and manageability. The remarkable, purpose-built system reduces operating costs by consolidating multiple capabilities on a single platform, which reduces management oversight and the need for multiple servers, while delivering up to 700,000 messages per hour. By supporting up to 10,000 connections and message queues, the Cisco IronPort C-Series keeps Allegro’s traffic flow moving at maximum speed.

Through continued innovation in the areas of email sender identity, authentication, and reputation, Cisco is making customers’ lives easier and fixing email for the rest of the Internet.

This document was originally published in 10/08, and is being republished with limited, non-substantive updates in 08/10.