Cisco Email Security Appliance

Cisco Handles Email Security for a Regional Telecommunications Leader

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Headquarters: Guymon, Oklahoma
Business: Comprehensive communications provider, offering high speed Internet, residential and business telephone service, cellular phone service, digital interactive and cable television
Email Users: Over 11,000
Service Area: Over 6450 square miles
●	Easy manageability with a 75 percent reduction in operating costs
●	Robust performance with no system crashes or downtime
●	Industry-leading spam and virus filtering at the network perimeter
●	Up to 6 million suspicious messages blocked daily
●	Nonintrusive, reliable results for superior user satisfaction

Panhandle Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (PTCI), dominates its market area, providing a full range of telephone, cellular, Internet, and television services to commercial and residential customers. With roots dating back to the mid-1950s, PTCI has long delivered exceptional customer service and advanced product offerings in the dynamic communications arena. To maintain its competitive edge, the company required an email security solution able to stand up to today’s complex threats.

“We had to fight with our previous system, which constantly crashed and lost customer emails. We’ve not had a single incident with the Cisco IronPort solution since it was installed over a year ago. It’s just a great product.”

— Rick Kerr, Broadband Network and Data Services Supervisor

Panhandle Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

The Situation

PTCI’s previous security systems failed to meet the demands of increased email traffic volumes, including system stability and heightened pressures on network management. Realizing it needed to upgrade its security system, PTCI researched Barracuda, Tumbleweed, and Cisco®. Based on that review, and the testimonials of satisfied customers, the company selected the Cisco IronPort® C-Series Email Security Appliance to provide the stability and security it required.

Technical Challenges

As PTCI grew, so did the number of email accounts it handled. Today, PTCI has in excess of 11,000 users who expect rapid and reliable email service. PTCI had a range of email security requirements. It needed a system that could provide maximum throughput of heavy volumes of email without crashing and compromising the integrity of its system. The system had to be nonintrusive to customers and easy to manage and maintain, freeing network administrators to focus their time and energies where they were needed most.

The Cisco IronPort Advantage

Powered by the Cisco IronPort AsyncOS® operating system, Cisco IronPort Email Security Appliances run on a high-performance MTA platform, which delivers best-in-class protection through preventive and reactive technologies as well as the problem-free management.

With the Cisco IronPort solution at its network perimeter, PTCI reports up to 6 million suspicious emails blocked per day and a 75 percent reduction in associated operating costs. “The feedback from both the user base and management is very positive,” said Rick Kerr, PTCI’s Broadband Network and Data Services Supervisor. “We are extremely pleased with Cisco.”

PTCI credits such satisfaction to the power of Cisco IronPort SenderBase® Network, which stands at the heart of features such as Cisco IronPort Reputation Filters and Cisco IronPort Virus Outbreak Filters. By collecting data on more than 30 percent of the world’s email and web traffic, SenderBase monitors the highest volumes to provide immediate threat detection. SenderBase instantaneously examines more than 90 different email parameters and 40 web traffic parameters, making it easier than ever to spot incoming trouble.

The sophisticated, yet easy management, real-time monitoring and reporting capacity provided by the Cisco IronPort C-Series helps ensure that PTCI network managers have the information and performance they need to operate at maximum efficiency. What does Kerr see as the system’s best feature? “From an ISP perspective, it’s stability and ease of use. No matter what, I can rely on the Cisco IronPort appliance to do its job every day.”

This document was originally published in 06/08, and is being republished with limited, non-substantive updates in 08/10.