We are a pretty small startup which is involved with providing mail services as part of the portfolio. Up to now, all our C-level officer's emails have been going through our own mail server product and consequently the same store as our customers. The mail server is a custom written solution and is frequently updated but the bigger problem is that our devops team has full access to both the server and the mail store. There is something to be said about dogfooding our own software but at some point a bit more privacy is required as the startup grows.

Our staff shares the same email as our customers for better marketing purposes. For example, ceo.bob@product.com or client.su@product.com. The decision has been made to keep this pattern but find a way if possible to redirect certain aliases to a different mail server or service. Adding a @corp.product.com would be easy but is not preferred.

I was wondering if there's a product that acts as the first line of mail servers @product.com and checks for matching aliases of [employees]@product.com and sends it to a different mail server or service like Office365 and the rest go to our internal product mail server. Outgoing emails should look like they are coming from @product.com for both staff and customers.

Thanks and any help is appreciated.

  • Do the developers really need access to production data? – Michael Hampton Apr 10 '14 at 3:53
  • In startups with minimal workforce - you are forced to. – Shawn Apr 10 '14 at 14:36

There are any number of Message Transfer Agents (MTAs) that will do what you're looking for, both commercial and free/open-source. You'll need to "shop" for that yourself, depending on the feature-set you're looking for.

From a functionality perspective, your own mail product is going to need to support being non-authoritative for the "@product.com" SMTP address space if you intend these users to maintain their "@product.com" email addresses. Not knowing anything about your product I can't speak to that capability, but most off-the-shelf MTAs can handle that configuration fine.

There's certainly some validity in having a second sysadmin team handling this sensitive email from a separation-of-duties perspective, but it seems like encryption might be a better answer than "oh, just put it over there". It seems like a weak way of "solving" this problem.

The company might look at this as an opportunity to make your product better. Presumably since your people want more privacy functionality your Customers might want it, too.

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