Policy Specificity

Document created by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Sep 21, 2015Last modified by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Mar 2, 2016
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Specificity relates to the order in which Mimecast applies policies to emails. The more specific a Policy is, the higher the priority. For example, a policy specifying a single individual email address is very specific and will be applied first, in contrast to a Policy applied to Everyone which is the least specific of all, and will therefore be applied last.

 

Each policy deals with a particular action which will be applied to emails as they are processed by Mimecast. In many cases, there could be 2 or more policies which apply to the same email. For example:

policy_specificity.png

This example above illustrates a typical scenario where although more than one policy may apply, only the most specific Policy is actually applied to the email when being processed by Mimecast.

How do I use policy specificity?

Mimecast will only apply one policy type to an email at a time, but many types of policies could apply to an email. For example, only one Stationery Layout is applied each email, but Mimecast will also apply Attachment Management and Content Examination policies, if configured.

 

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • In the case of Content Examination and Smart Tag Policies:

When two policies match the same From and To variables, then both policies will be applied to the email, and the appropriate action taken.

  • In the case of Stationery Assignment and Delivery Routing Policies:

When two policies match the same From and To variables, a random selection of the policy will take place in a round robin format.  In this way, Stationery Items or Email Delivery Routes will be randomly selected and applied to emails.

Levels of specificity

The levels of specificity range from Everyone, which is the least specific of the routing categories, to Individual Email Address, which is the most specific. These levels are evaluated in order of increasing specificity:

Level

Priority

Everyone (least specific)

7

Internal Addresses (more specific than Everyone)

6

External Addresses (separated from Internal Addresses)

5

Email Domain (more specific than Internal or External)

4

Address Group (a group of domain names or individual addresses) Note: If two Policies apply to different Groups, and the same member is present in both Groups, the most recently created Policy will apply for that Group member.

3

Address Attribute (an individual property of an email address)

2

Individual Email Address (most Specific)

1

From / To priority

As described above, a policy is selected based on whether it contains the most specific variable within a set of policies. In order to determine which policy is the most specific, both the FROM and the TO categories need to be examined.

Review the Policy Editor article for more information on the differences between Header and Envelope addresses.

Here are some examples which illustrate how policy selection is made based on specificity and the From / To policy components:

From

To

More Specific

Everyone

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

 

Everyone

Email Address

e.g. test@domain.com

From

To

More Specific

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

Everyone

 

Everyone

Email Address

e.g. test@domain.com

From

To

More Specific

Address Group (Profile Group)

e.g. Suppliers

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

 

From

To

More Specific

Email Address

e.g. test@domain.com

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

 

Domain

e.g. Domain.com

Email Address

e.g. test@domain.com

The policy listing pages always show policies in order of ascending specificity, from the least specific to the most specific.

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