Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Exchange Online Protection Quarantine

A decade ago, Bill Gates predicted a spam-free world by 2006. Although we are seeing a small decline in spam, this is unfortunately far from coming true... Exchange Online Protection (EOP) does a great job, in my opinion, at filtering out obvious spam. According to the latest figures from Microsoft, ten million spam messages are blocked every single minute on average by EOP, 10 million! That is an impressive number. However, every day attackers around the world come up with new techniques to fool spam detection engines. Threats take different forms, such as an unidentified spam campaign, unknown malware or a completely new virus. This means that a small percentage (around 3%) of email that is likely to be spam still comes through and are sent to users’ Junk E-mail folder. Users obviously do not want spam in their inboxes, but they often have to review this folder to make sure no good messages (false positives) are mixed in with the bad.
EOP provides two main methods of handling spam detected by its content filters. Administrators can configure it so that spam is sent to the Junk E-mail folder in Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA), which is the default option, or to direct it into a web-based quarantine.
Sending spam to the Junk folder is the most common choice as that is what users have been using for many years. But from experience I also noticed that this is the case as not everyone is aware of the quarantine feature. On the other hand, some customers have non-Exchange email systems that do not support the Junk E-mail folder approach, have a 3rd party filtering system that sends spam reports to users, or simply prefer the spam quarantine.
Since EOP was launched it has supported spam quarantine, but initially administrators were the only ones who had access to this quarantine, through the Exchange Admin Center, and only they were able to release spam messages... But for some time now administrators can configure EOP to give users self-service management of spam-quarantined messages. So let us have a look at how this works and how we can configure it.
In this article, we will explore the Quarantine feature of EOP, including how to enable, configure and manage it both from the administrator and end user perspectives. To continue reading, please go to the Exchange Online Protection Quarantine article at

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