Mimecast Launches New Email Security Control Capabilities

Mimecast, a London-based company that specializes in email archiving, security and continuity for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, has rolled out a new software plug-in that adds new archive search capabilities as well as enhanced attachment management features to further support enterprise-level security.

Mimecast Services for Outlook (MSO 4) provides the opportunity for IT managers to more easily assign employees into specific groups with differing levels of rights and restrictions to adjust their own email security settings on a per message basis.

"Usually you have to go to a Web portal to do any list management," explained Justin Pirie, Mimecast's vice president of cloud strategy. "And managers are often reluctant to let end-users do it because it can get complicated. So, you end up with a disconnect between IT and the end user. Our new plug-in controls the level of access for these functions, making customization easier for both the user and the administrator. We work with banks and legal firms and are very enterprise grade. We know they have different levels of users and groups, and we seek to support that. So the receptionist might not be able to make changes to these lists, but executives and partners might be people that you want to have on that list."

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The addition or deletion of specific addresses from blocked senders lists, without the assistance of a system administrator, is included. Users can also send closed circuit messages, using a secure online portal that prevents the messages from being forwarded by the recipients. Another feature enables documents to be converted into PDF files, and it can also send large attachments through a securely hosted link, as opposed to a large file attached to the email itself.

Users also have the ability to search their own archives without assistance from administrators or IT personnel.

"Approximately 80 percent of an organization's intellectual property is either located in, or transits through, email," said Pirie. "The challenge is control of that information, where it goes, and whether it is actually transiting safely. In this new version, we have put security into the control of the end user, so that they can send sensitive documents to one another within Outlook and do so safely. The encrypted information can transit the Internet and never be visible in plain text as it goes from one end user to another."

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Meanwhile, the product also enables administrators to maintain control and visibility over how these features are being used, as well as the specific individuals who would have access to the advanced features. Default capabilities can be enabled so that a given level of access is provided to each user without specific customization.

While resource-constrained IT departments are always open to ideas that increase efficiency, not all channel partners are convinced that handing additional capabilities to end users will resonate with IT.

"On a practical level, the additional end-user capabilities do not sound like a great benefit," said Steve Bennett, CEO of Bennett Communications, a Germantown, Md.-based channel company. "Having end users poking around in there is probably not going to be high on their list of priorities."

Mimecast is seeking to expand its network of channel partners in North America, and it intends to grow its channel revenue by at least 50 percent over the next two years. Mimecast's Pirie, whose prior experience includes seven years at the helm of a U.K.-based value-added reseller, says that Mimecast has a strong focus on partner enablement, as well as in building the tools and resources necessary to support its partners. "We are incredibly focused on making our VARs successful, because the only way you can scale is through the channel."

Mimecast Services for Outlook version 4 will ship in autumn 2012.