Rolling on: The Lance Armstrong Foundation and AppRiver


The Lance Armstrong Foundation found help after its employees' inboxes became inundated with spam, reports Greg Masters.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation was founded in 1997 by champion cyclistLance Armstrong after his treatment for cancer. The Austin, Texas-basednonprofit organization seeks to unite, inspire and empower peopleaffected by the disease.

As the Lance Armstrong Foundation began to grow, the inboxes of its 75 staff members became inundated with spam. The five-person IT staff – which consists of an IT manager, IT administrator, database administrator, developer and business analyst – began the search for a solution.

Stopping spam and viruses is vital to the organization's productivity since the Foundation is email-centric, says Willy Snell, IT administrator.

Although he and the group's IT manager researched other anti-virus and anti-spam packages, the choice came down to AppRiver for its fully managed email protection service.
“Security threats are constantly evolving, and it's important to keep up with the developing threats,” Snell says. “For example, scams perpetrated via email (aka phishing attacks) may trick people into thinking they're dealing with legitimate business matters. And as a result, those who click on a link inside a malicious email may infect their computers, or even the network itself.”

That's why the company chose AppRiver to filter its email, he says. “AppRiver now successfully captures more than 90 percent as either spam or virus-laden messages. Since only valid mail is delivered, stress on our Exchange server is alleviated. Also, and most recently, AppRiver effectively held the Foundation's email during a large corporate move. Once our Exchange server was back online we had complete access to our email.”

AppRiver employs five anti-virus engines, more than 60 filtering techniques, and wave-front detection to rid inbound and outbound email from spam, worms and viruses, as well as other protocol-based vulnerabilities, says Snell.

“Also, AppRiver's ability to store and forward mail during outages assures that the organization will never lose email. Unexpected interruptions – natural, accidental, malicious or otherwise – can really put a strain on productivity.”

The choice was partly based on recommendations received from partners, says Snell, but what really sold the team was AppRiver's SecureTide Spam and Virus Protection solution because of its accuracy, low maintenance, and ease of implementation. Also, the company provides outstanding support and special non-profit pricing, he adds.

Michael MurdochAppRiver protects businesses of all sizes from multi-blended online threats by thoroughly securing every connection to the internet, says Michael Murdoch, CEO of AppRiver (left). “Our easy, effective, affordable solutions do not require software or hardware, and may be deployed from a single PC to an entire enterprise through a reliable, hassle-free security-as-a-service deployment option.”

AppRiver offers customers an integrated security suite, which include SecureTide Spam and Virus Protection, Message Sniffer Spam Detection, Secure Exchange Hosting with Shoreline, and SecureSurf Web Protection.

SecureTide used by The Lance Armstrong Foundation, is a fully managed email protection service that eliminates up to 99 percent of unwanted email before it reaches a user's network. The filtering system is continually updated 2,000-4,000 times per day to ensure protection from even the newest spammer tricks and tactics, says Murdoch.

As no hardware or software is required, SecureTide implementation is as simple as switching the MX records for domains that require filtering services, he says. “Additionally, SecureTide users receive daily Held Mail Reports which provide 100 percent visibility to all email that has been held as spam, or Junk. Web access to the quarantined email is also available.”

AppRiver has always approached business with a focus on creating a positive customer experience, says Murdoch. “This unique customer-centric methodology adds great value to AppRiver as it differentiates AppRiver from its competitors who do not offer the same experience. Additionally, AppRiver offers users unlimited mailbox storage, and owns all core email filtering technology used in its SecureTide service, which allows the company to be highly adaptable in the fast-changing anti-spam environment, ensuring the system's quality and cost variables remain under AppRiver's control.”

Deployment of the AppRiver solution at the Lance Armstrong Foundation was seamless and Snell and his team are very pleased with the service and support from AppRiver.

“AppRiver is exceeding our expectations and is simple to manage and operate,” he says.

In fact, the integration has proven so effective, the Foundation is now looking to add on to the deployment.

“We are looking at adding additional AppRiver security solutions, such as SecureSurf Web Protection, in the near future,” Snell says.

More information on the Lance Armstrong Foundation is available here.

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