Ask the Expert

Where should I put my e-mail server?

Is it a good idea to have one external mail server and one internal isolated server? Or should there be just one e-mail system? What type of controls should be in place?

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I'd suggest not wasting your money on a second e-mail server. Instead put your mail server on a separate interface off your firewall, and only allow the needed mail protocols to access it. Have the routing set up so that your internal users can still route to the mail server. Put on a server-wide antivirus package and implement policies about executable files.
For more info on this topic, visit these resources:
  • Network Security Tip: Ten steps to a holistic secure messaging strategy
  • Archived Featured Topic: Best practices -- E-mail security policy

    This was first published in May 2004

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