Success Story: Irish Life & Permanent

Axway MailGate reduces risk through email security and antispam capabilities

  • Headquarters

    Dublin, Ireland
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Protect 5,500 employees from unwanted inbound email traffic while speeding message delivery

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Strong defense with very low rate of false positives
    • Easy implementation and management
    • Flexible infrastructure enables easy implementation of complementary email edge defense, policy management and encryption

“As expected, Axway’s Email Firewall and antispam solution greatly improved the functionality and reliability of our infrastructure and subsequently the productivity of our employees. So great were the improvements that the system paid for itself within a year.”


The Irish Life & Permanent group was formed in 1999 and is a leading provider of personal financial services in the Irish market with over 1 million customers and more than 5,000 members of staff.

In its drive to be the number one provider of personal financial services, Irish Life & Permanent relies increasingly on mission critical communications and a robust email network that withstands today’s risks and threats such as spam, viruses and hackers.


In the last two years alone, online communications with customers had increased significantly and today over a million customers interact with the bank online or through email. Online communications is a critical tool for running the day-to-day operations at Irish Life & Permanent. However, with its email facility running close  to capacity and spam and other unwanted content putting increased pressure on the IT infrastructure, the company saw the reliability of its email service dropping to an unacceptable level while the threat of viruses and hackers posed a direct security risk.

With the ever-increasing volumes of email, Irish Life & Permanent identified the need to more closely integrate its policy filter, spam and anti-virus scanner to provide an acceptable email service to the organisation.

Although the company was using a well-known legacy product to protect its systems, the incumbent did not contain a spam solution nor was it complimentary to the anti-virus engine in use. It became apparent that a new security email solution was urgently required. The new protection would be required to accurately block  messages containing viruses, spam and invalid addresses at the perimeter yet safeguard the delivery of genuine messages to recipients.

“Putting the right solution in place and making sure it is fully integrated with your virus scanner is vital when email is so mission critical. We tried other spam and content filter solutions in the past but they did not stand up to our need for high spam capture and low false positives.”


After an extensive evaluation of available solutions and a competitive pitch, Irish Life & Permanent decided to implement Axway’s award-winning Email Firewall with Dynamic Antispam Service to shield its network.

Through Axway’s partner in Ireland, Kerna, the solution was installed without any difficulty at the beginning of 2005. Today the system successfully protects the financial organisation against unwanted email traffic and is used by over 5,500 of the company’s employees. As part of the solution, Dynamic Antispam Service updates the Email Firewall with new spam defences as they are published, offering maximum protection from spam and other unsolicited inbound mail traffic.

Moving forward, Irish Life & Permanent can add additional, complementary Axway solutions such as Mailgate Edge for perimeter defence, or Secure Messenger for confidential email, should its requirements expand.


Since implementing Axway’s Email Firewall, Irish Life & Permanent has seen a significant increase in employee productivity, with immediate delivery of email, reduction of spam and an enhanced defence mechanism against the ever-present virus threat. The Dynamic Antispam Service in particular helped to reduce the false positives rate to only 1 in 100,000 messages in this critical business environment and increased the system’s overall reliability.

“As expected Axway’s Email Firewall and anti-spam solution greatly improved the functionality and reliability of our infrastructure and subsequently the productivity of our employees. So great were the improvements the system paid for itself within a year,” comments Martin Farrelly, group IT manager at Irish Life & Permanent.

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