Al Abbar Group, head-quartered in Dubai, UAE, is the largest architectural building, enveloping, and glazing contractor in the Middle East.
The Group relies heavily on email for communication, so they knew that downtime could lead to a loss of business productivity and reputation. They also knew that email was a major entry point for cyber threats.
They needed a solution that would protect their business with advanced email security, while at the same time offering long-term archiving of emails.
Mimecast helped Al Abbar to improve cyber resilience for their email, support employee productivity and reduce storage costs for their ever increasing email archives.
“The immediate value we saw when implementing Mimecast was time and cost savings, but just as important are the intangible benefits, which include protecting against attacks, protecting the company’s reputation, and compliance and legal support.”
Manoj Gopalakrishnann, IT Director, Al Abbar Group
“Our business communicates almost 100% through email,” says IT Director Manoj Gopalakrishnan. “We have to store email records for a long period to protect our business from claims and litigation. We also need to be able to quickly and easily search for information from these archives at any time. One lost email could result in not having adequate backing or supporting information when faced with a claim.”
This means that any email Al Abbar sends or receives needs to be immediately archived and easily discoverable when needed - a requirement that their previous solution was unable to provide.
“Another challenge we experienced with our previous solution was the cost of storage. Being a project driven company, we store communications relating to each project for the full duration of the warranty and compliance period, so our storage requirements are massive. We were spending approximately $75,000 to $100,000 per year on NAS storage alone, which was not sustainable. Also, finding a particular email was time-consuming and inefficient” says Gopalakrishnan.
Given the importance of this data, keeping it secure and available was also essential. Finding the right email security provider and continuity service was also an important need.
Al Abbar first adopted the Mimecast Cloud Archive for unlimited email archiving and e-discovery services. This gave them a central repository of corporate data that is 100 percent available and stored for 99 years in the Mimecast cloud, a fully secure, encrypted, immutable and redundant system. The e-discovery capabilities streamlined governance and compliance, giving end-users access to the fastest search in the industry.
“Not only was the interface user-friendly but the email discovery and retrieval process was simple and instantaneous, allowing us to immediately hand over all communication records to our legal department when needed.”
Gopalakrishnan says his high storage costs immediately fell away when adopting Mimecast, resulting in massive cost savings for the company. “Because Mimecast’s storage is elastic, it can scale with the business as our needs change. Also, the unlimited data storage and recovery period was appealing to us because most vendors only offer a five-year recovery period. Mimecast’s approach was straightforward and addressed my business requirements.”
The value of Mimecast’s email archiving and discovery solution naturally led Al Abbar to implement other Mimecast services, such as advanced email security services, including Targeted Threat Protection and Large File Send.
Before using Targeted Threat Protection, Al Abbar used several email gateway solutions and an on-premises email spam and filtering solution.
“Despite our investment in numerous solutions, together they were ineffective against various malicious emails that made it through the gateways, filters and into our network,” says Gopalakrishnan. “We’ve removed all these solutions since switching to Mimecast and we’ve effectively blocked ransomware, spear phishing attacks and other malicious content. The monthly threat reports we receive from Mimecast provide complete visibility into what’s happening on the network, where the threats are coming from, and where we might still be vulnerable.”
Today, Al Abbar has more than 700 Mimecast users across the Middle East, Philippines and India, as well as roaming users spread across the world.
“Implementation was a piece of cake for us,” says Gopalakrishnan. “It was simple and straightforward. Mimecast’s tight integration with our on-premises Active Directory reduced a lot of the admin and workarounds required when employees join or leave. We also moved our on-premises Exchange server to Microsoft Office 365™, using Mimecast as a gateway, with minimal issues. In four years, we’ve never experienced any email downtime thanks to Mimecast’s continuity offering and we can always easily access mails through the web console. With Mimecast, I probably have the fewest help desk calls!”
“The immediate value we saw when implementing Mimecast was time and cost savings, but just as important are the intangible benefits, which include protecting against attacks, protecting the company’s reputation, and compliance and legal support. We feel more prepared for today’s cyber threats as Mimecast has helped to improve our cyber resilience for email. And if we were to experience an attack we would be able to continue business as usual with the continuity offering and easily retrieve data with the Mimecast Cloud Archive. You only come to appreciate these things when they’re gone, or you run into problems. Lucky for us, we’ve never experienced either with Mimecast.”