Email Flows and Woes


Many of us live in our email inbox as we communicate with the world.  We expect that, when we hit that send button, our very important message will be delivered.  Then you see something like this:

“The message or attachment did not reach the intended recipient(s). Please contact your help desk for assistance”

This week McAfee released a security update to their anti-virus and anti-malware filters, and effectively caused millions of emails to bounce, or become undeliverable, because of a false positive in scanning for infected emails.  McAfee had fixed the issue in about a 10 hour period.

When you hit that send button on your email, an email will start its journey at the sending server.  The sending server goes out into the world to find the server who will handle receiving that message.  However, on its way there, most emails go through a gauntlet of scans before they get to their destination.

Most Network Administrators play a game called, “Let’s make our email safe!”  And this game can be tricky.  You want to set up your security as tight as possible without affecting mail flow… this is easier said than done.  There is a vast chasm of variables to consider when heading down this road, and a lot of times it is trial-by- fire.  Then you have your spam and virus filters that can act like rabid TSA agents; but instead of being flagged for a bottle of shampoo, your email is being flagged for a harmless picture of grandma enjoying the outdoors or perhaps a link to a craigslist ad.  It happens all the time, and sometimes you’re not even notified that it was flagged as spam.  For important emails you can employ a delivery receipt.  This will help to validate the message was received.

We here at CSI understand how important email is and we are here to answer the big and small questions of email.  We support a wide variety of email solutions across our diverse client base.  To find out how to best protect your email and environment, we invite you to contact us for a friendly consultation.


Garret Robinson

CSI Engineer