Spam / Phishing

Spam Blocking and Filtering

To protect the Washington State University community from inbound email security threats such as viruses and spam, Information Technology Services have deployed a new email security solution. The new solution is a hosted service from Proofpoint, Inc., called Proofpoint on Demand. Proofpoint uses an advanced machine learning filtering technique called MLX™ to ensure that no valid mail is improperly filtered. All hardware and software maintenance is handled directly by Proofpoint. All email security policies and filtering is managed by WSU. For more information about the Proofpoint Protection Server and MLX, you can visit Proofpoint’s web site at

What's New:

"Proofpoint On Demand" is a hosted email security solution where the vendor hardware and software are deployed at Proofpoint data centers offering WSU greater redundancy and fail-over, availability, performance, reliability, and security. All hardware and software maintenance will be handled directly by Proofpoint. All email security policies and filtering will be managed by WSU.

Improved Performance:

Users should see an improvement in email performance. The Proofpoint Email Security Appliances are hosted at Proofpoint data centers, so 98% of spam will be deleted before ever reaching the WSU network.


The above graph represents Proofpoint's Spam Score Distribution. Proofpoint scores all email messages on a score from 0-100. Any message that scores a 80-100 is labeled as spam. Any message that scores 0-49 is labeled as not spam. Messages scored 50-79 are labled as "Probable Spam". As you can see by the chart, the majority of email sent to users is spam. The email messages that show up in your End User Digest are "probable spam." They require your approval to be sent to your inbox. If you take no action, these email messages will be deleted by Proofpoint after 14 days.

What's different:

The ability to control your quarantine from the email interface instead of having to log in to a web based quarantine. This should be the end to quarantine logins and passwords.

What's Gone:

The upkeep and maintenance of the Barracuda appliances and of course tons of spam.

If you have any questions feel free to contact CougTech at 335-4357 or CougTech.

Information Technology Services, PO Box 641222, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1222, 509-335-4357, Contact Us