IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security

Frequently asked questions

My e-mail is hosted. Can I still use the IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security?

Your messaging system can be in-house or hosted by a third-party service provider. Please note that you must have a dedicated domain in order to use the service. Your mail exchange records only need to point to our system first; the system then forwards clean e-mails to any server you designate.

How do I set the e-mail filters so I still get the e-mail I want?

You can designate an administrator to select and manage the options for each module of IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security. As an example, some of the options for anti-spam are: block and delete; append a header and allow the mail through; append a header and redirect the mail to a bulk mail address; quarantine the mail.

Will IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security work with my existing e-mail security software?


Are there start-up costs, such as hardware investments or setup charges?

There are no one-time charges or start-up costs. Please note that in order to take advantage of the 30-day trial, you must sign a contract.*

What logs or information will be forwarded to subscribers so that we can re-include e-mails that are not really spam?

If you choose to quarantine spam e-mail, the quarantined mail can be reviewed to determine if it should be deleted or released to the recipient. The administrator you've designated can manage the quarantined mail or authorize others to manage the quarantined mail (including authorizing all end users to manage their own quarantined spam mail).

When the e-mail is released from the spam quarantine, the recipient user is offered the option to notify their administrator that the e-mail was not spam and should be added to a white list so it is not identified as spam in the future.

What happens if there is a problem with the service?

The IBM Help Desk is available to a designated administrator via a toll-free call Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

What recourse do I have?

Technical problems with the service will be worked until resolved. If you are dissatisfied with the function of the service, you should discuss this with your IBM representative or the IBM Business Partner providing the service.

How long are e-mails quarantined in the IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security system?

Spam is quarantined for 14 days. Viruses are quarantined for 30 days.

Are there any volume limits or bandwidth parameters restricting my use of the service?

The price of the service is not dependent on e-mail volume or bandwidth used; it is priced on the number of mailboxes that use the service.

What virus scanners are used?

We use multiple commercial scanners. This combination of scanners has been selected for their differing approaches to virus detection, which helps ensure that we are capable of catching all types of viruses, past and present, and helps us be prepared for future viruses.

Can I be notified of viruses sent or received by my users?

Yes. Your postmasters or system administrators can automatically be sent details of any viruses sent by or to any of your mailboxes. You can nominate one address per e-mail domain, which can be a distribution list if you wish to send notifications to multiple people in your organization.

What is an open-relay?

For historical reasons, many simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) mail servers will accept mail for e-mail domains other than their own, and forward it on to the intended recipient. Any server that will accept e-mail for any domain and forward it on, regardless of who the sender is or what IP address the e-mail is sent from, is referred to as an open-relay.

Spammers hunt for and abuse these open-relay servers to try to cover their tracks, because they know their spam is unwelcome and unwanted. When spammers locate such a server, they can use it as a free distribution service for their junk e-mail.

What does open-relay mean to me?

You must make sure your SMTP server does not allow open-relay, because if it does, it can be used as a spam gateway. This very often leads to your IP addresses and/or domains being blacklisted by anti-spam groups. Most current SMTP servers and firewalls allow you to restrict SMTP relay either by IP number (so you accept mail only from specified IP numbers) or by domain (so you reject mail destined for domains other than your own).

How can I check if my mail server is an open-relay?

A network tool located at will test your mail server for relay security. You will need to register with them to be able to perform these tests, but there is no charge for registration and it is simple to do.

*Five days' prior written notice to IBM is required in order to cancel the Services during the 30-day risk-free period. This service delivers remote email screening only. Other services required to complete a total security solution are available from IBM but are not included under this offering. Registered domain required. Minimum order is 25 addresses at a per address price of $2.00.