Mimecast Adds New Continuity Features to Monitor, Alert and Respond More Quickly to Mail Flow Disruptions
In a recent global survey of 600 IT decision makers, Mimecast found that 88% view email as critical to their organization with 55% saying email is mission-critical. This isn’t surprising; email is often the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we check before going to bed. Any email disruption can bring productivity to a screeching halt—severely impacting customer service, preventing new sales, and impacting day-to-day operations.
Mimecast is pleased to release new Continuity Event Management features designed to ease the challenges of identifying, diagnosing and responding to mail flow problems on Microsoft Office 365™, Microsoft Exchange™ or G Suite by Google Cloud™. When every second counts, Mimecast reduces the time to respond to email disruptions so organizations can avoid the problems caused when this critical infrastructure isn’t working.
Mimecast Continuity Event Management features enable administrators to:
Monitor –Mimecast monitors for high latency and failed deliveries, both inbound and outbound, so admins stay on top of potential issues.
Alert – Organization specific thresholds for mail flow give administrators the ability to tailor when they are notified. Once a threshold is met, an automated alert is generated and sent via SMS or to an alternate email address. Administrators are alerted to problems on any device, anywhere.
Respond – A fast response continuity event portal provides the administrator with key metrics on the mail flow problem and gives details to quickly assess the severity of the problem. One-click activation starts continuity, with Mimecast sending and receiving email until the primary system can be recovered independently. An SMS message to employees reduces manual tasks and ensures the employee base follows company procedures.
Whether your organization operates on-premises, from the cloud or in a hybrid environment, problems still do occur. By analyzing customer data, Mimecast finds that 11% of detected outages were due to server or service issues that lasted 24 hours. Another example is the June 30, 2016 mail disruption of Microsoft Office 365™ which lasted for over nine hours on the last day of the month and last day of the quarter across most tenants in the United States.
No company can predict when a mail flow problem will arise and as the Office 365 incident points out, any disruption during a critical time can have widespread consequences. With the new features, available March 2017, Mimecast makes it easier to detect and manage mail flow disruptions.
Learn more about Mimecast’s leading Mailbox Continuity service and new event management features.
A recent survey confirms that Microsoft Office 365 continues to outpace Google’s G Suite in the race to the cloud. Overall it’s clear that more organizations are using cloud or hybrid deployment models over on-premises, but let’s dig into the survey results.
Let’s start with the Bitglass Cloud Adoption Report, which is in its third iteration, for some context into how things have changed over the years. In 2014, the report found that 16% of organizations were using Google Apps for Work (now rebranded G Suite). At that time, only about 8% were found to be on Office 365. Google at that point had a 2X lead on Microsoft! Since then, the picture has changed dramatically. In 2015, Office 365 closed the gap and squeaked past to take a 25% to 23% lead. The ’16 report saw that lead extend as Office 365 now controls a commanding 35% to 24% advantage. Bitglass says this report was created using an internally-developed tool that analyzed over 120,000 companies.
We’ve also heard that cloud adoption is progressing faster than industry experts originally expected. In the spring of 2016, Redmond Magazine reported on a recently completed Gartner survey showing Office 365 was either in use or planning to be used in the next six months by 78% of respondents. This is up 13% from two years ago when the survey was run last. What’s interesting is that the use of Exchange on-premises only dropped by 5%, with most feeling that hybrid environments will remain popular and persist well into the future.
It’s no surprise to hear that Office 365 continues to gain ground and extend their advantage in corporate accounts. I’ve referenced before that Office 365 adds 50,000 customers a month and as of June 2016, that was true for 28 straight months! What’s more, the service has been growing by about 40% year-over-year and looks poised to top 120 million corporate users by this time next year. Interested in learning more about how organizations are managing risk while moving to the cloud? Check out this market trend report by Microsoft MVP J. Peter Bruzzese titled, Resetting Your Expectations on Office 365.
When fall rolls around this year you may want to be in Atlanta, GA for Microsoft's Ignite 2016, where cybersecurity will be front and center. The 2015 conference sold-out early, so if you haven't secured your conference passes yet you may be out of luck. This is especially important if you rely on Microsoft Office 365.
At the Microsoft Ignite conference, more than 90 percent of the presentations will touch on Microsoft Office 365 and more than 100 of the 528 sessions will cover cybersecurity. The format for Microsoft Ignite includes a few different types of sessions. These range from 75-minute sessions with 413 seats; to the shorter 45-minute session (86 of these are scheduled) and then a smaller number of partner-led sessions.
Why the focus on security?
Given the global instances of Microsoft Office 365, it should come as no surprise that cybercriminals and nation states are investing their own resources in determining exploits which will undermine the security implementation of the individual user as well as the organization. Truly, who hasn't been exposed or known an entity that has been affected by the Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) unraveling in enterprise security networks in recent years? All need to be up-to-speed on is targeted threat protection. You are a target, or put more succinctly, you are a potential target. Furthermore, you have no say in whether you are deemed a viable target and are now within the adversary's bulls-eye. You do, however, control whether you will be a hard or soft target. There are seven presentations which touch on addressing APT, this content will help on the hardening side of the equation.
Phishing, Spoofing, and Whaling are everyday occurrences and regularly populate our email inboxes. The opportunity to learn how to configure your Microsoft exchange or Microsoft Office 365 instances are key for anyone involved in securing email configurations. In addition, security awareness for you the cybersecurity professional and for the employee who simply wants to do their job and do it securely are additional areas of high interest.
Over 110 of the Microsoft Ignite sessions have a cybersecurity awareness component. As we all know, an educated workforce is not only an empowered workforce but increase the odds that the correct decision is made when faced with a choice which may contain a threat. Be it, clicking on the spurious link, to opening a dubious attachment which may contain macro malware. The Mimecast paper, "Office File Macro Threats Delivered by Email" provides specific guidance on how to mitigate the threat of the macro malware contained in an email attachment.
One cannot over emphasize the role of the educated employee. As drawn from the Mimecast paper, all employers must ensure their employees "...understand the risks presented to their inboxes, and how to handle unexpected email and attachments… Ensure they understand the hacker's tactics and how to recognize simple social engineering attacks."
Mimecast, a Microsoft Partner, will be present at Microsoft Ignite 2016. Mimecast’s J.Peter Bruzzese, a cybersecurity thought leader will present 'Take a new look at cybersecurity and resiliency - ground to the cloud.' He is well known for his articulation on risk mitigation within the Microsoft Office 365 environment.
Episode 1: Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada
Q: J. Peter, where are you?
A: Greetings! This week I’m in Toronto Canada. Toronto is an interesting place to visit. Whenever I visit a city I like to do a couple of touristy things. Here in Toronto I went up the Toronto CN Tower, visited the aquarium, and went to Casa Loma (which, if that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a huge castle-like house built in 1914 and, most importantly, it has been used in the XMen movies for Xavier’s School. One other cool thing about Toronto is that it’s only 1 hour and a half from Niagra Falls, which is an amazing place.
One cool geeky note is that Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse created the first major AC current hydroelectric power plant in Niagra Falls in 1895 and there is a statue of Tesla right near the falls on the Canada side.
Q: Why are you there?
A: This week I’m at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here in Toronto Canada. It’s completely booked out with partners and attendees. The vibe is positive and upbeat although there is a slight tension due to world events with an added layer of police protection.
Microsoft is not oblivious to the times and the Keynote was kicked off by a singer and poet named K-naan with his song “Waving Flag”. He was joined on the stage by a group of children from all parts of the globe singing the song beautifully in acapella at the end. I think I saw a few tears… or maybe I shed a few tears. Hey… no judging.
Q: What are you there for?
A: I’m here at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto Canada for several reasons. First off, I’m here to cover the event as a journalist for InfoWorld. I write the Enterprise Windows column. Second, I’m here to gain insight on the future goals of Microsoft, especially with regard to the cloud and Office 365. I can use that insight in my writing and speaking engagements, and it’s especially helpful when I travel and speak for Mimecast about developments on the Microsoft side with Exchange and Exchange Online.
Typically when I attend WPC I attend the Keynote and then spend most of my time talking to vendors in the expo to see what they’re working on, what they feel is important and what is the overall focus on the floor. It’s a good show. Very different from others I typically attend like Ignite or Techmentor where the vibe is more IT admin focused. WPC is more business and partner focused.
Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed following me to Toronto for WPC 2016.
Where am I going next? Nashville Tennesee!!!