Spam mayhem neutralised in just two weeks


Dunlop Industrial Products has its roots in automotive tyre and industrial rubber production in South Africa going back to 1918. It was founded when a British company, the SA Rubber Manufacturing Company, built a plant in Howick in the Natal midlands. After two decades of growth, a new competitor arrived in the form of Dunlop, a pioneer in rubber manufacturing, which established a tyre factory in Durban and a plant in Benoni manufacturing conveyor belting, hoses and other rubber products for the automotive industry.

In the 1950s, BTR from the UK acquired the SA Rubber Manufacturing Company, and in the 80s it, acquired the global business of Dunlop. It broke the business up into various units, with the South African branch eventually becoming Dunlop Africa.


Dunlop Industrial has almost a century of history in South Africa, with a solid business built on decades of quality products. This legacy is what gives the company its leading position, but also makes keeping its systems at the cutting edge of technology a challenge for the IT department.

“We do all the IT support in-house, and although we have tight, written user policies in place, with 150 users we couldn’t control everything. Our anti-spam system was blocking hundreds of emails, which I would then have to manually release on request. These false positives were most notable when we sent and received emails in Afrikaans,” explains IT manager, Selwyn Schwenk.

Up to one and a half hours were being spent each day releasing mails from the spam trap, with IT personnel having to sift through some 12,000 illegitimate messages a day.

This kind of manual intervention was distracting the IT department from much more strategic activities, such as managing the very significant systems upgrade that the company was executing, on a much-needed project to allow it to manage its growth.

A decision factor was that the company operates from multiple facilities across the country, meaning that the solution should be easily managed from one central point without additional administration.


Schwenk contacted Mimecast after surveying a number of vendors in the market. His requirement was simple: “Make this spam problem go away and make my life easier.”

With Mimecast UEM, email is stored in a highly secure repository that allows clients to access mails remotely via their web browser, via a mobile device, or via an Outlook plug-in to the standard mail client. Users can also search archives going back months or years in fractions of a second. Mail is then transferred on to the client’s existing servers after being scanned for malware, spam and (if required) intelligent content monitoring. Outgoing mail is first routed through the Mimecast data center to be entered into the archive. It is then scanned for malware or security breaches and potentially has customized stationery or signatures attached; then it is delivered.

Mimecast automatically stores all email securely in its offsite locations to provide resilience and disaster-recovery capability, and lets users access and search the archive online securely from anywhere. It stores all incoming, outgoing and internal email for up to ten years with no requirement for additional hardware or software on the client site, and the storage grid is designed to manage the traffic of thousands of customers simultaneously, reducing customer cost and complexity through shared infrastructure. Until now, companies like Dunlop faced increased complexity, decreased control and visibility, variable effectiveness, noticeable message delivery delays and inadequate protection from new threats.

Dunlop’s deployment was done seamlessly within a seven-day window period, and within two weeks the IT team saw a clear decline in spam. From day one, the implementation was straightforward. The implementation team locked down Dunlop’s firewalls to allow mail traffic only from the Mimecast server, eliminating any chance of illegitimate mail entering or leaving the network by bypassing the Mimecast service. Mimecast’s powerful scanning technology guarantees that no mail is tagged and held as spam as a false positive, and does not require the manual setting up of white-lists, or even the use of quarantine folders.


The pain of over 1,200 emails sent from 150 Dunlop users across the country each day, bloated by an additional 12,000 spam messages, called for radical action. Within two weeks of implementing Mimecast’s solution, Schwenk says spam was down to a maximum of 40 messages per day nationwide, a reduction of 99.7%.

“Mimecast’s solution was quickly and seamlessly integrated with our existing architecture. The ability to manage the cost of the solution within our operational budget rather than motivating for a capital outlay was also a big point in Mimecast’s favour.”

Dunlop Industrial now has complete control over its email system across all its branches. Archiving is done seamlessly and the company can rest assured that it is completely compliant with all regulatory and legislative requirements.

Schwenk says that once his company-wide systems upgrade is complete, the company will be looking to incorporate other Mimecast features, such as intelligent marketing and signature features.