Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

Protecting the Message Store

The most important data in a messaging server is the user’s mail in the message store. Note that the mail messages are stored as individual files, which are not encrypted. Consequently, physical access and root access to the message store must be protected.

To secure the Message Store, restrict access to the machine where the store is installed. You can enable CRAM-MD5 or Digest-MD5 passwords instead of using unencrypted, plaintext passwords. For more information on passwords, see Planning Messaging User Authentication.

Not only should you create password authentication to the store machine, you might also use tools like VPN access, ssh, or pam, which list valid users that are allowed to login to the machine.

In addition, a two-tiered architecture is recommended over a one-tiered architecture. Because the Message Store performs the most disk intensive work of any components in a messaging system, do not have filtering, virus scanning, and other disk-intensive security processes on the same machine. In a two-tiered architecture, you don’t have to run UBE filters, anti-relay, and client access filters on the same machine as the message store, which can add load to your system. Instead, the MTAs handle that processing. In addition, user access to the store is limited to through an MMP in a two-tiered deployment, potentially adding an extra security layer to the message store.

If you deploy a one-tiered architecture, be sure to account for the additional security processing and load (like SSL and virus scanning) that you will need. For more information, see Chapter 10, Planning a Messaging Server Sizing Strategy.

For additional Message Store security processing, set disk quotas per user to limit disk usage. Also, use administrator alarms if free space thresholds are fast approaching their limits. Like the MTA, be sure to monitor the server state, disk space, and service response times. For more information, see Chapter 20, Managing the Message Store, in Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide.