Case study: Online gaming publisher focuses on its gaming community instead of dealing with internal spam

Grayling/Halon Security

After its employees endured too many email headaches, Spil Games migrated from Barracuda to Halon and eliminated spam along with the hassle of false positives for good

Spil Games

Spil Games is a Netherlands-based games publisher and leader in online casual gaming with one of the world’s largest online gaming platforms. Spil Games scouts for the best content from the world of online game developers to entertain its 180 million monthly active users. The company’s gaming platforms target girls, teens, men and women. Spil Games also develops its own unique content through its in-house game studios. Spil Games’ gaming platforms contain all the features and games players need to challenge themselves, share their creativity, and entertain themselves. Additionally, Spil Games is present on mobile devices through browser-based and native application versions of the company’s targeted online-gaming platforms.

The Challenge

Eliminating spam and false positives to Spil Games employee email accounts.

Recognized as one of the largest publishers in the world of online casual and social gaming, Spil Games welcomes over 180 million active users every month to its more than 40 gaming websites. As social gaming took off with the proliferation of mobile devices, Spil Games quickly grew in popularity. Coinciding with the growth in popularity, Spil Games employees began receiving a higher degree of spam email and became encumbered, making it more challenging to remain as efficient and productive in their work. Spil Games’ existing spam filters weren’t well prepared to handle large volumes of spam. Previously, Spil Games was using Barracuda Networks for Web and email security. Its filters didn’t automatically detect possible spam very effectively and placed a large burden on the employees to ensure that their email systems were working effectively. The company’s employees were finding spam emails in their in-boxes, and valid emails would sometimes end up in spam folders only to be deleted. The problem became too much to handle internally as the company grew. As a result, Spil Games personnel spent time constantly managing internal employee email lists in order to reduce spam and to ensure the lists were always up to date.  All the additional time spent on training personnel to do so came in addition to deploying Barracuda to handle the problem, which also took too many resources to keep updated. It soon became apparent that the company needed a much more hands-free, “set-and-forget” solution to address the issue. Enter Halon Email Security.

An Immediate Solution

Set-and-go solution solves problems instantly

According to Rogier Gerritse, Spil Games’ head of office IT, the company decided to seek an alternative to Barracuda, which just wasn’t working out. Spil Games first took a look at an email security application from Sophos, a UK-based security vendor, but didn’t feel it could deliver the performance that Spil Games required. Then Spil Games turned to Halon in November 2011. It found that the Halon Email Security solution was exactly what was needed.
With help from Halon’s support team, Spil Games was able to easily install Halon’s software solution and eradicate the spam problem.

We looked at 5 alternate solutions to Barracuda, but Halon stood out to us and came highly recommended from my peers,” said Gerritse. “Within half a day, all our problems were solved—just like that. Halon automatically terminated connections from known spammers and almost immediately all of the spam emails disappeared. We then spent another day working with Halon’s support team to fine-tune and customize the solution to our specific needs. From there on in, we haven’t had any problems. Our spam issues are a thing of the past.

One of the most valuable features Spil Games has found with Halon’s solution is its effectiveness in greylisting potential spammers. Possible spam email messages are temporarily rejected by the system and evaluated. In the case that they are re-sent by an originating server and found legitimate, they are delivered after a short delay. This means that Halon automatically eliminates close to 100 percent of all spam without compromising its filtering process to allow false positives.

That was an essential factor in our deciding to go with Halon, says Gerritse. We couldn’t afford to get false positives as it was critical to our business. As much as our employees hate getting spam, not receiving a legitimate email is an ever greater problem. Also Halon can help identify false positives and figure out the reason the emails were not sent. Its support team has been great in customizing the solution for us.

Results

Spil Games solves its spam problem for good.

Since using Halon for email security, Spil Games’ employees no longer receive spam emails and Spil Games’ technical personnel are no longer constrained by an ongoing need to effectively manage spam. Unlike its prior experiences with Barracuda’s solution, Spil Games has discovered that Halon effectively manages even massive volumes of spam.

Other systems can’t handle heavy volumes as easily, so working with them requires pooling together different solutions,” said Gerritse. “Halon not only eliminates all spam, it also eliminates all false positives. It can handle all of it as an all-in-one solution, saving us from the need to also look elsewhere for supplemental products.

Spil Games was impressed by the continuous influx of new features and upgrades offered by Halon. Notable improvements have been made in how the system consistently checks false positives and debugs email flow.

Halon works hard to constantly improve their product, predicting threats down the road and enhancing its solution to adapt to these threats before they become an issue, says Gerritse. Halon has an excellent interface, which is constantly upgrading and innovating. Logging and searching within the appliance has improved tremendously.

Gerritse is such a believer in Halon’s email security that he routinely recommends its solution to friends and fellow colleagues in the IT industry. Halon’s support team has also earned raves from Spil Games. With Halon’s ongoing support, Spil Games now has an email security solution directly tailored for all its specific needs.

This wouldn’t be possible without Halon’s fantastic support team that really knows the product and the problems its customers face. The system now takes much less time to manage compared to what we were spending on Barracuda, saving on average of two man-hours every week. This is a big comfort as we continue to grow and expand our company. We know that whatever comes down the line with regards to email security, Halon will have it covered.

About Spil Games

Spil Games’ mission is to unite the world in play through a localized global network of online social-gaming platforms tailored to girls, teens and families. These platforms, are localized in 15 languages, and entertain more than 180 million active users from around the world each month. These platforms host popular, casual and social games that encourage players to connect and challenge themselves and each other while sharing their creativity. Additionally, Spil Games is present on mobile devices through browser-based and native application versions of the company’s targeted social-gaming platforms. For more information, please visit http://www.spilgames.com/.

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