University of Calgary

IT rolls out stronger controls against email spam, malware

UToday HomeJuly 29, 2013

Effective today, Information Technologies will be implementing a Microsoft cloud-based service, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), that will filter spam and malware from incoming and outgoing email.

This service will be applied to all University of Calgary email accounts, and will require a new process for accessing quarantined email. Members of the university community are encouraged to review the steps required to access quarantined email at their earliest convenience, as quarantined email will be deleted every 15 days. To review the support documentation, visit

FOPE will help protect the university from receiving email-borne viruses and other malicious code, and will work to reduce the amount of unsolicited email that enters your inbox. FOPE also provides the ability to custom create policy rules to regulate email flow for compliance purposes, as well as instantly and automatically queue messages for later delivery, which ensures that no incoming email is lost if the receiving server is unavailable.

FOPE offers higher availability and improved disaster protection than the University of Calgary’s current spam control service. Microsoft has redundant servers on all continents, and they have staff working around the clock to ensure service availability. In addition, no hardware or software is required to install, manage, or maintain this service, and FOPE aligns with IT's cloud-based services strategy.

“FOPE will improve our overall security posture considerably by reducing the number of users who respond to spam messages and have their account information compromised,” says Doug Doran, director of Infrastructure Services, IT. “In an organization our size, this is a daily problem. FOPE will not eliminate the problem, but will reduce it significantly.”

As this is a cloud-based service, outbound and inbound email that is not from a University of Calgary email account will be routed through a FOPE server, which is outside of Canada.

Many post-secondary institutions in Canada have already moved their entire email hosting services to service providers in the United States. With FOPE, email messages pass through an out-of-country server but are stored on University of Calgary servers internally, with the exception of spam.

In an online document created by University of Calgary’s Legal Services, it is noted that “the FOIP Act does not prohibit the storage of personal information (on servers) in the United States.” To view the document in its entirety, visit,

Should you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to email


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