SOURCE: Abaca Technology Corporation

June 17, 2008 07:15 ET

Foothill-De Anza Community College District Chooses Abaca to Provide District-Wide Email Protection

Abaca's Email Security Solution Outperformed the Competition on All Criteria During the Testing and Selection Process

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - Abaca Technology Corporation, an innovator in email protection and messaging security, announced today that after rigorous testing, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District has chosen the new Abaca® Email Protection Gateway™ EPG 3000 and ReceiverNet™ Premium Service to provide email security for faculty, staff and service personnel at its two colleges and district offices.

"Our district has earned a national reputation for its innovative use of information technology in creating a dynamic learning environment for a diverse student body," said Fred Sherman, vice chancellor and chief technology officer of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. "We envision a community where technology is current, integrated, secure, reliable and available anywhere at any time. By implementing Abaca's industry-leading email protection solution we have taken a key step forward in achieving this vision and maintaining our status as a twenty-first-century learning institution."

Founded more than 40 years ago and located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District serves the cities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Stanford, Sunnyvale, and parts of San Jose. It is one of the largest community college districts in the United States, providing credit classes for about 44,000 students per quarter. In addition, both of its colleges are active members of the League for Innovation in the Community College, a national consortium of leading two-year institutions.

As an academic institution, Foothill-De Anza is committed to providing an open, consensus-building environment that ensures the free exchange of ideas. Therefore, the district needed to find a way to protect email users from spam, viruses and other email attacks without blocking their access to important information. In January 2004, Foothill-De Anza installed a firewall to provide anti-spam and anti-virus protection. The firewall uses pattern-detecting software to identify suspect messages and performed fairly well at first, blocking 84% of spam and viruses. But after three years and 75 million messages, it was clear that the stand-alone firewall could not keep up with the increased traffic or the growing sophistication of spammers. Complaints from email users began to soar, and the district decided to look for a complementary solution.

"We wanted to test solutions that took an innovative approach instead of using the same signature-based algorithm as our current firewall," said Chien Shih, director of information technology at the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. "Abaca's receiver-based technology really stood out. Instead of scanning for patterns, it examines the relationships between people who exchange email. When something out of the ordinary happens, it checks for spam."

Testing Methodology: Statistics and Subjective Feedback

Foothill-De Anza's IT team decided to test the Abaca appliance and networked service solution side-by-side with one other well known anti-spam solution. First they identified 26-30 email users to serve as the test group. Next they established four test criteria:

1. False positive rate
2. Spam not blocked
3. Ease of use
4. Subjective feedback from users

After collecting baseline statistics, the IT team tested each anti-spam product for 30 days. At the end of each test, they collected another set of statistics, as well as user feedback, about the pros and cons of each solution.

In the end, it wasn't even close. Abaca emerged as the clear winner on all fronts.

Superior Performance at a Better Price

"The statistics we got back from the Abaca test really surprised us," recalled Shih. "Abaca's false positive rate was 0.17%, and the spam not blocked rate was 0.79% -- less than 1%! The other solution we tested gave us statistical results of 1.87% and 2.54%, respectively. That's a huge difference given the enormous amount of email coming into our district."

The district's test group also gave Abaca's appliance and networked service solution superior marks for ease of use. They particularly liked Abaca's flexible quarantine feature, which blocks questionable email but allows users to easily retrieve any messages they want to see. Abaca's intuitive, user-friendly interface got high marks from the test group as well.

"We purposely picked email users who would be hard to please, the ones who complained the loudest about the spam filling up their mailboxes," said Shih. "After testing Abaca's solution, they started sending us letters of thanks and congratulations instead of complaints."

In addition to delivering superior performance, Abaca trounced the competition on price and total cost of ownership as well. Not only is Abaca's appliance and networked service solution less expensive than the other solution Foothill-De Anza tested, it is a self-mentoring system that updates itself automatically and requires virtually no ongoing system administration. Given the district's limited IT budget and resources, Abaca's dynamic self learning (teach-to-learn) capability was welcome news for Shih.

Based on these impressive test results, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District decided to implement the enterprise-class Abaca EPG 3000 with ReceiverNet Premium Service alongside its existing firewall. The district is in the first phase of its deployment, with 236 Central Services employees currently supported by Abaca's anti-spam solution. By the end of June 2008, all of the district's faculty, staff and services personnel will be supported.

"Abaca's extremely sophisticated email security technology enables us to set new benchmarks in blocking spam, viruses and other email assaults," said Leo Jolicoeur, chief executive officer of Abaca Technology Corporation. "No other company comes close to delivering spam block rates above 99 percent while maintaining extremely low false positive rates and no other company offers email protection at the competitive price point we do. When you look at Foothill-De Anza's test results and add up all the numbers, Abaca is clearly the right answer for higher education customers."

About Abaca Technology Corporation

Abaca Technology Corporation is an innovator in email protection and messaging security. Abaca's patent-pending technology, ReceiverNet™, offers an advanced approach in the fight against spam -- providing unprecedented levels of accuracy and guaranteeing 99 percent spam filtration. Abaca has created a portfolio of innovative products and services based upon this core technology, thereby assuring users unparalleled messaging protection from spam, as well as viruses and phishing attacks. Abaca is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information about Abaca, please visit

Abaca®, Email Protection Gateway™, Abaca® Email Protection Gateway™, ReceiverNet™, and the Abaca logos are trademarks of Abaca Technology Corporation and may be registered in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. Other trademarks shown are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:

    Donna Candelori
    Candelori Communications Inc.
    Email Contact