Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) is one of the unsung heroes of the Microsoft Exchange world.
If you’ve been running Microsoft Exchange for your organization, chances are you’ve heard of Forefront Protection for Exchange. This is a software which sits on servers in the datacenter and monitors all incoming and outgoing email to protect against spam and malware threats (among other threats). One of the biggest concerns I hear from administrators, when considering email protection, is not feeling comfortable enough with their security experience to be responsible for something so critical as Forefront Protection for Exchange.
Forefront ONLINE Protection for Exchange (FOPE) can replace the need for installing and maintaining Forefront Protection for Exchange on your own infrastructure. This is Software as a Service (SaaS) provided by Microsoft on a per user basis. This takes the burden of email security off of your own IT staff, and puts it on Microsoft. No more worrying about security updates, and access rules. FOPE does all the hard work for you, yet gives you the granularity you desire for setting up additional rules company wide or even for individual mailboxes.
If you’re considering moving to Microsoft’s BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) or Office 365, you may be interested to know that FOPE is the backbone of email security for both services. In these cases FOPE sits in the background unnoticed filtering all of the spam and email-based threats known to the Microsoft world. The best part about it is that it just works! There is no need to configure anything, or set any anti-spam rules. In fact you don’t even have access to a control panel by default. It needs to be requested from the BPOS or Office 365 support team.