Guest

Cisco Email Security Appliance

How do I configure a relay host on the ESA for outbound mail?

Document ID: 118136

Updated: Jul 31, 2014

Contributed by Nasir Shakour and Stephan Bayer, Cisco TAC Engineers.

   Print


Question:

How do I  configure a relay host on the ESA for outbound mail?

Answer:

The Cisco ESA appliance will not relay messages for hosts that are not configured in the relay list. 

SMTP servers that allow relay by unspecified hosts are called Open Relay or insecure relay.  A server that is configured as an Open Relay is subject to use by those who would send spam messages through it, causing the server IP address to appear on blacklists and have its messages rejected.

Two methods for setting up relay (outbound email):

1. use an existing Listener by adding an appropriate Sender Group and Mail Flow Policy.

  • First create a new Mail Flow Policy from the Mail Flow Policies page of the Mail Policies tab.  You can give it any name you want; the most common is RELAYED.  The critical setting on this that the 'Connection Behavior' must be set to 'Relay'.  You may want to make the other settings appropriately generous for your outbound mail needs.
  • Once the Mail Flow Policy is created, go to the HAT Overview page of the Mail Policies tab and create a new Sender Group.  You can give it any name you like; the most common is RELAYLIST.  From the Policy dropdown list, select your new Mail Flow Policy.  Change the Order to 1; the first match wins and we want to make sure your trusted hosts always match on this Sender Group.  Then click on 'Submit and Add Senders'.  On this page, add the IP addresses of the machines you trust to send outbound mail.
  • Submit, Commit, and test to make sure your outbound mail setup is working appropriately.

2. Alternately, setup a new Listener

  • Starting on the Listeners page of the Network tab, click on 'Add Listener'.  You can give it any name you like; a common name is 'OutboundMail'.  The important step here is to select the 'Type of Listener' as 'Private' and make certain that the appropriate Interface is selected.  Review and adjust the other settings if desired and then click 'Submit'.
  • This will bring you back to the Listeners page.  From here click on 'HAT' in the same row as your new Listener.  On the new page you will find a Sender Group named RELAYLIST already created.  Click on its name and on the new page add the IP addresses of the machines you trust to send outbound mail. The sendergroup used also needs to have the action RELAY configured.
  • Submit, Commit, and test to make sure your outbound mail setup is working appropriately.
Updated: Jul 31, 2014
Document ID: 118136