Since ditching its off-the-shelf email security solution and moving to a managed service, the Adelaide Bank has reduced spam and email borne threats by a whopping 90%.

The bank's information security manager, Paul Dewsnap, said the security team has certainly reduced its workload with spam related calls to the help desk dropping to virtually zero.

Dewsnap said the bank has implemented the complete range of MessageLabs Email Protect and Control Services to safeguard its 1,200 employees.

He said the bank had used an off-the-shelf solution for three years which captured a lot of false positives impacting the productivity of the end user community.

"Email has become an important business communication channel within the bank. It provides the immediacy, ubiquity, and accountability necessary to conduct everyday business communications," he said.

"But the strength of email can also be its shortcoming. It provides the quickest, easiest mechanism for the propagation of email borne threats."

Since the implementation, the information security team has reduced its workload significantly freeing up key resources to focus on strategic initiatives rather than chasing reactive operational issues.

"We don't want to be in the spam management business. We need to focus on strategic business initiatives that drive revenue," Dewsnap said.

"From a business perspective the reduced volumes of spam and email borne threats propagating to the inboxes of the end-user community will realise significant productivity gains moving forward."

Another attraction of a managed service, Dewsnap said, is the simplicity and service continuity it provides.

The service requires no hardware or software on site, removing the need for onsite maintenance and added layers of complexity to the infrastructure.

For Adelaide Bank, the service levels provided by MessageLabs are a significant differentiator.

MessageLabs Asia Pacific vice president, James Scollay, said the problem is stopped at the internet level so customers can focus on strategic IT activities.

"Our services identify and re-route threats before they reach the bank's network. To ensure the highest levels of protection, we promise only one in 250,000 false positives," Scollay said.

"MessageLabs is the only company to offer an agreement of 100 per cent protection from both known and unknown viruses."

MessageLabs has more than 15,000 clients and offices in eight countries.