Alex Smith |
During the surge towards remote working at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, cybercriminals saw the movement away from the office environment as an opportunity to target organisations and their employees.
Attackers gambled that employees working from home might be more distracted and more likely to use unprotected devices. Security, application delivery and data protection solution provider Barracuda Networks reported a 667 per cent increase in Covid-related phishing attacks targeting organisations in March 2020.
To protect against these dangers, UK-based legal practice Fletchers Solicitors decided to explore new solutions for email security. The practice wanted to leverage Microsoft 365 to drive employee productivity during the pandemic, but its existing security provider was becoming increasingly expensive. Anthony Terry, director of technology operations for Fletchers Solicitors, decided to look for a cost-effective, cloud-native alternative, which he found in Barracuda Email Protection.
“We had a great opportunity to break away and seriously evaluate other products on the market,” he says. “Barracuda Email Protection came in with an aggressive pricing structure, but then we also noticed that it had cloud backup, which wasn’t available for many other products. In terms of features, we saw Barracuda was doing everything we needed it to do and more.”
Barracuda Email Protection offers end-to-end security for Microsoft 365, including impersonation protection powered by artificial intelligence to mitigate business email compromises, phishing, and other advanced threats. The suite of solutions also includes account takeover protection, domain fraud protection, incident response and security awareness training.
The solution is now blocking or quarantining around 50,000 out of 250,000 weekly emails for the law firm, including several so-called ‘whaling’ attempts to trick finance team members into making fund transfers. Its team uses the incident response feature to respond rapidly to the small number of threats that do slip through and uses the product extensively for domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance analysis to prevent abuse of its domain in phishing.
Overall, Fletchers’ organisational risk profile has been reduced by 75 per cent.
“There’s always a bit of nervousness about moving to a new solution,” says Terry. “But the guys at Barracuda made that straightforward. They worked with us on the migration. The crossover was seamless, and the ongoing experience has been seamless too.”
At the same time, Fletchers was also looking to commercialise a new service being developed in the firm’s Azure environment. Following the successful implementation of Barracuda Email Protection and to ensure that the environment remained completely free of threats, it chose to deploy Barracuda CloudGen Firewall for Azure.
The product offers a set of firewall technologies for real-time network protection, including protection from advanced and encrypted threats, bots and spyware, and distributed denial of service attacks, as well as multi-factor authentication, application control, and more. Since its implementation, Barracuda CloudGen Firewall has kept the cloud environment threat-free as it continues to develop the in-house product.
Terry has been impressed with the way both products can feed into Fletchers’ security information and event management solution via simple application programming interfaces for more streamlined threat detection and response. He is now exploring the possibility of implementing further Barracuda features and products to enhance protection.
“Rather than having disparate solutions, it would make sense to have everything sit under one umbrella,” he says. “That’s the nirvana we’re heading for.”
This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.