When selecting from a very large number of SaaS providers out there it can take some time to narrow down the competition. One product I’m familiar with and wanted to write about is Mimecast.
Mimecast has become a powerhouse solutions provider in this arena. They have a large number of options you can select from that enhance security, availability, and compliance needs. Originating from the UK, they’ve grown to a global company hosting email in numerous locations. Pay attention to compliance though. Depending where you are located and your country’s laws, you may need to consider where your data could end up via replication or otherwise.
On the compliance side they’ll archive all your email. I like how they are setup to accept the email. Different email archiving systems handle this in various ways. Mimecast sets up a forwarding address and all your databases get set to forward to this address, which ends up being delivered out to their system. Other types of email archive might setup a mailbox that constantly gets polled. That kind of setup is ok, but the mailbox, if left unchecked, can grow to enormous sizes. They also have an app for the smartphone.
Security offerings include AV(different engines combined which is important), spam, secure email portal, and a newer technology called Threat Protect. The first three I’m sure you’re familiar with. The last, Threat Protect, has subsets of policy you can enable: URL Protect, Impersonation Protect, and Attachment Protect.
After a bad email gets through to 100 or 1000 people, do you ever wish you could reach into all their inboxes and remove it? With Mimecast URL Protect you can get to the email link before your users. How? Because the URL link never gets to the users in the first place. A handy feature that rewrites incoming email URLs is placed in the user email instead. When they click the link it brings them to Mimecast’s web URL check first. So when a bad email gets in Saturday, and a user clicks Monday after the URL is discovered and marked as malicious, your user doesn’t go to the page and is stopped at Mimecast.
Email pretending to be from a domain, or even more devilish, an email that’s spelled one or two letters differently slips by the common spam filter and now is talking to or sending your users down a bad road. Impersonation Protect takes a close look at these domains checking things like:
Is this domain new?
How far off is the spelling from another domain?
Are they using an internal user’s name, but masking that with an outside email address?
These are important stopping opportunities for a perimeter email provider before the user has to decide if it’s trustworthy to respond or click a link.
The old ways of checking for a virus signature are losing their effectiveness. Blocking attachments with exe, bat, com extensions isn’t good enough either. Now we have malicious word docs, excel spreadsheets, and PDF files that have nearly all the look of a friendly file which commonly gets sent along with email today.
Attachment Protect tries to address these issues by running the docx file through a behavior observing sandbox to stop the email if something suspicious is found. There’s intelligence here so the email administrator isn’t going crazy reviewing all the email with a little macro or tweak, driving them to blurred vision, and the users running in with pitchforks as they wait an interminable amount of time to get valid email delivered to them.
If all these other features didn’t speak to you, add availability. Not just the fact they have data centers in numerous locations, but also that you can use them to send/receive email if your mail server goes down. Stay in touch with clients even when your office goes completely dark.
Mimecast has quite the set of options and coverage for many organizations. They are helping security level-up in the email sector.