Sophos and Modalit help African farmers by protecting FARM-Africa's network from viruses and spam

January 24, 2005 Sophos Press Release

Ethiopian women

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, and Modalit, an Authorised Sophos Reseller, has announced that FARM-Africa, the international non-governmental organisation promoting rural development in Africa, has installed Sophos Anti-Virus and Sophos PureMessage to protect its network from viruses and spam.

FARM-Africa is dedicated to improving the quality of life of rural African communities. To achieve this, it is vital that both its website and internal IT systems are virus free and working optimally. New online gift initiatives such as FARM FRIENDS, offer people the opportunity to buy a dairy goat or a brood of chickens to help poor African farmers feed their families. This makes securing purchasers' bankcard details and other classified information absolutely essential. In addition, the organisation stores on its system important files, images and contact details of supporters and donors, all of which need to be protected against virus infections.

FARM-Africa decided to switch to Sophos's solution after it experienced virus infections while using its previous protection. The company chose Sophos because of its easy-to-use automated updating. In addition to scanning emails for viruses, desktop anti-virus protection was essential for the organisation as it uses CDs and floppy disks to distribute information and updates to its offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda. Poor Internet connections in some of these countries makes downloading information over the web almost impossible.

Spam was also a problem for FARM-Africa, which receives up to 150 unwanted emails each day. This spam was not only a nuisance, but it also took up a significant amount of storage space. The organisation chose Sophos PureMessage because its message handling options give organisations greater control of their email traffic, allowing them to set various actions based on the likelihood that messages are spam.

"Many poor African families depend on FARM-Africa to make a lasting difference to their lives. Any time lost to virus infection or spam infiltration has a negative impact on our ability to help," said Christie Peacock, chief executive of FARM-Africa. "Sophos's comprehensive protection against viruses and spam not only gives us peace of mind that our systems are secure, it also frees up resources so we are better able to help African communities become self-sufficient."

Sophos's technology was chosen and is now being managed by Modalit, the company that provides a range of outsourced IT services to FARM-Africa.

"We chose Sophos's consolidated anti-spam and anti-virus solution because it fitted FARM-Africa's needs, the roll-out on to desktop PCs was problem-free and the products are easy to manage," said Iain Stewart, director at Modalit.

About FARM-Africa

FARM-Africa (Food and Agricultural Research Management) is an international non-governmental organisation aiming to reduce poverty by developing innovative approaches to natural resource management in Africa. Through its projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda it works in partnership with small-scale farmers and herders enabling them to produce more food for their families and so make a lasting difference to their lives.

About Modalit

Modalit provides a broad range of networking and support services for small to medium sized enterprises who do not have their own in-house IT resource. The company has over ten years' experience supporting Windows technology across a range of sectors including arts, publishing, law, accountancy, insurance and education. They also have a strong client base in the not-for-profit sector.

Modalit offers a one-stop shop providing consultancy, project management, support and training. As a small business serving small businesses, they have genuine first-hand knowledge of the business environment in the sectors they support.