Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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Outbound filtering - part 7

Outbound filtering - part 7

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I thought I had laid this series of posts to rest, but instead I'm going to resurrect it for one more post.

I had another meeting about how we in Exchange Hosted Services are going to implement outbound spam filtering.  I presented my slightly complicated solution, and the other teams rejected it.  The reason?  It would take too long to develop it and get it out in the near term, and a short-term fix is what we need.  So, we had to come up with something else.  What we are going to do is actually much simpler than anything I had previously proposed.  I won't go into details but it basically involves routing messages differently.

That's the easy part.  The hard part is what comes next.  I don't know if this is something that is across the entire company, but in my division we follow a strict process.  We are near the end of a feature release; well sort of -- we are scheduled to be code complete on Jan 31. 

In order to get this new feature approved for this release (instead of a future release which is what I originally thought we were going to do), I have to bring it up with the division managers at our next big(ish) meeting, which is Tuesday, Jan 29.  Prior to that, I have to get it costed (Micro-speak for getting dev days estimates and test days estimates).  I then have to explain how we are going to absorb it into the schedule without slipping the overall release and justify why we are doing it now instead of later.  You see, we don't just have to make code changes, it has to go through Test, and then Staging, and then a deployment document written, and then account for it in the Ops release schedule.  And then there's probably something else I am forgetting about.

Note that I am speaking in the first person.  I get to bring it up and justify it, seeing as how there is no other anti-spam PM.  I am not looking forward to doing this.  Already, I am starting to catch some heat for this, and I haven't even brought it up yet!  I suppose that the best I can do is do the necessary research, get the right people involved to back me up, and hope for the best.

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  • "a short-term fix is what we need"

    Now *there's* Microspeak.  Later you come closer to talking about fixes, but this short-term thing isn't going to be a fix, this short-term thing is going to *need* fixing.  If the short-term thing is a net win then it's still right to do the short-term thing until you can fix it.

    "(instead of a future release which is what I originally thought we were going to do)"

    You originally thought you were going to take enough time to do it right?  That does seem like the right thing to do, doesn't it?

    "I then have to explain how we are going to absorb it into the schedule without slipping the overall release and justify why we are doing it now instead of later."

    You get to justify why you get to do it the way you don't think you should do it and you get to justify why you don't get to do it the way you think you should do it?  Wow, I wish that were Microspeak too, but unfortunately lots of other companies operate the same way.  Sigh.

    "I am starting to catch some heat for this,"

    No ship-it.  You're a spam fighter.  OF COURSE you catch lots of heat.

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