A bit of background:
I run my own company, focused on providing IT support and systems to small to medium sized businesses in Christchurch NZ.
As part of this offering, I have a hosted email solution.


Many of you may have herd of SMX, but for those that have not:
"SMX Cloud Email Security provides an enterprise-grade email gateway with mail filtering, content control, data loss prevention (DLP) and archive - all delivered in the cloud and managed through a single dashboard."


What many of you may not know is how widespread the use of SMX is for spam filtering. Did you know most (if not all) of our government departments use it?


What this means:
one provider, has the power to completely blacklist and block any server they see fit, with unsupervised control, with no oversight from a governing body. Sound dangerous? It is!


Here lies the problem and its a serious one - I'm not huge, I'm not Google.


Yesterday SMX blacklisted my companies top level domain name that we use for our servers host names. No emails use this domain.

This means SMX has blacklisted ALL of my companies servers, with no regard for legitimate senders.

This is akin to SMX blacklisting all of Googles servers since 1 person sent spam from a Gmail account. The problem is, I'm not Google, blacklisting Google would be a death wish for SMX, but blacklisting a smaller provider isn't a problem as they can always point the blame.


SMX have set a very dangerous precedent where it is more important to have no Spam then it is to have all of your legitimate messages and they have done so with such a scale that is effecting the rest of us!



They key points here:

 

  • All of my clients are isolated to a assigned, unique IP address, they send from this, with a unique domain name and unique identifier in their emails.
  • One of my clients has had a spam issue, SMX have taken not just their IP address, unique identifier and domain name, but have seemingly blacklisted ALL possible connections to it, including our servers top level domain name.
  • SMX have taken our mail servers host name and not just blacklisted it! They've blacklisted the whole top level domain name, not just our specific servers host name (which is a sub domain).
  • SMX seem to have a policy, if it is suspected spam they completely block it. This means the end users are missing legitimate messages.



The main point I would like to get out, is for those like me in the IT industry, think twice before using a provider like SMX and most of all do not forget that spam filtering is not about blocking all suspected spam, its about filtering it in a way that makes a users Inbox usable again and giving the user the ultimate control!