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Stop Your Cloud File Sharing Menace Once and for All

IT teams around the world know significant amounts of valuable corporate data are leaving their organization every day. They often can’t be sure where it’s going. They can’t be sure what it is. But they know who’s doing it.

LFS now provides users and their contacts with the functionality they need to perform their daily tasks and IT departments’ control of all sensitive corporate data.

LFS now provides users and their contacts with the functionality they need to perform their daily tasks, and IT departments’ control of all sensitive corporate data.

Is this the work of shadowy hackers intent on stealing their corporate secrets? Or perhaps rogue governments or intelligence agencies?

No – it’s confidential corporate information their own employees are happily sending out onto the web via consumer-grade cloud file sharing and storage services like Dropbox, Box and Google Drive every day. Done without a second thought. Without malicious intent. Done to get their job, well, done.

This is a major worry for IT teams. They often have legal and regulatory responsibility for it too. Not to mention they are required by the organization itself to act as guardians for this highly valuable data.

So why is this happening?

The files users need to share to be productive are growing in size significantly. Video, graphics, audio, PDFs, databases and ever larger documents have become commonplace.

As a result, we have seen a major bloat in the storage enterprises have to put on their networks to cope with the data explosion they are seeing. Not to mention rampant inflation in the cost of network and email infrastructure. Now this is good for on-premise networking and storage vendors but it’s bad news for IT teams. More bandwidth and storage means more infrastructure, cost and complexity.

It also means more traffic on an already strained email infrastructure and networks. The file size limitations the IT team put on email to help are now often too small for users’ needs. This is a cause of daily frustration for employees.

So end-users turn in droves to cloud storage or file sharing services out on the public, unsecured web to get around these limitations. They circumvent corporate IT and data policies to get their job done. It’s hard not to sympathize. But in the process they are giving their already hard-pressed IT, security and compliance teams headaches.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have the best of both worlds. You can allow users to send large files easily and do it securely, complying with your corporate IT and data security and content policies.

We just updated Mimecast Large File Send (LFS), a service we originally launched in July 2013 to tackle this very issue.

LFS still enables users to send and receive large files securely from within their email client without contravening IT and data polices. They can send and receive these files internally and externally, even with non-Mimecast users, safe in the knowledge they are protected by the Mimecast secure cloud platform. Staying within the rules their company has in place to protect data.

In Outlook or our new Mimecast for Mac app, they simply attach the file and send. Mimecast does the rest. In fact, the user won’t even have to consider the size of the file – they just send it in the normal way, and LFS does the rest.

If we’re to lure our end-users away from familiar services like Dropbox and back into our corporate control, we need to make sure their experience is a good and easier one.  Well with LFS, it couldn’t be simpler. They just send an email as usual, from within Outlook. No more need to come out of email, go to the web, log in to one of many cloud services they use, upload or download a file, make changes, and repeat ad nauseam.

For the IT team it means all data is accounted for, fully discoverable, and subject to corporate DLP policies. More than that, the large files aren’t even sitting on their own corporate infrastructure either. They save on all that storage and email infrastructure, and related management headaches. They don’t have huge files zipping around clogging up their network.

So the IT teams become the heroes. End users get a much better and safer way of sharing large files. The compliance officer knows all that corporate data is safe, traceable and all communication is e-discoverable.

In one step, you can stop the compliance and potential data loss menace these unauthorized or unsecure cloud file sharing services represent and be popular at the same time. What’s not to like about that?

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Mimecast Confirms Services Are Unaffected by Heartbleed Bug

Mimecast can confirm that its services are secure and unaffected now, and in the past, by the recently reported OpenSSL vulnerability known as the Heartbleed Bug or officially CVE-2014-0160. Mimecast has never used OpenSSL to provide TLS/SSL encryption. There is therefore no need for customers to take any action on their accounts related to the Heartbleed Bug. If you have any questions about your account, please contact customer support.

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Mimecast services now for enterprise Mac users. Plus an upgrade to Large File Send

Today we’re pleased to unveil both a new Mimecast for Mac native app and a major upgrade to our popular Large File Send (LFS) service.

Mimecast for Mac

We know that today’s office has a mixture of PCs, Macs and mobile devices, and IT managers often have to battle to support the same level of email continuity and security, as well as archive access across all these platforms. With this in mind, we developed the new Mimecast for Mac app – it delivers the capabilities and ease of use previously only available to customers using Microsoft Outlook for Windows or the Mimecast web portal.

The new native app allows Mac users to search their personal email archive, effectively manage their spam and gain access to their full email account when Exchange goes down – enabling them to continue working normally. And, to help ease the burden on over-stretched IT administrators, Mac users can now be managed alongside existing Windows users from within the same central Mimecast Administration Console making their integration seamless and straight-forward. A video explaining the Mimecast for Mac app can be found here.

Large File Send Upgrade – Enabling Secure Collaboration

LFS allows users to send files up to 2GB securely and directly from within Outlook or the new Mimecast for Mac app. It’s a simple matter of attaching the large file as normal and pressing send – Mimecast does the rest.

LFS allows users to securely send and receive files up to 2GB in size directly from within Outlook or the new Mimecast for Mac app.

LFS allows users to securely send and receive files up to 2GB in size directly from within Outlook or the new Mimecast for Mac app.

Before this, file size limitations put in place on Exchange by the administrator or by Office 365 made this difficult. To send large files, users were often forced to leave the safety of the corporate network by resorting to consumer file sending services in the cloud. Alternatively, IT administrators had to invest in complex and expensive specialist equipment on their network. Users became frustrated and their productivity was impacted. LFS puts a stop to that.

Today’s update makes it possible for the recipient of a large file sent by LFS to work on it and then use the same service to send it back securely, whether they are a Mimecast customer or not.

LFS enables collaboration on files, even when the recipient is not a Mimecast customer. They can send files back to the originator by simply dragging and dropping the files into a secure portal. The originator is then notified that new files are available to download. The shared files remain secure, on the Mimecast archive, and anti-virus and content-scanned throughout. Once the large file exchange is complete, the link expires.

IT administrators value the service because it also means, aside from the file remaining safe on the corporate archive at all times and subject to their security and content controls, it completely bypasses their infrastructure. It doesn’t impact network performance or weigh down email servers. It sits in the Mimecast cloud and is shared from there.

In addition, the new version of LFS features an improved user interface and offers the sender the option to turn off or on the access code required to download the file.

LFS gives users the functionality they need to perform their daily tasks and IT departments can rest easy knowing they are back in control of valuable corporate data. We think that makes everyone a winner.

If you’d like to find out more about the new version of LFS, a video explaining the service can be found here.

Both the new Mimecast for Mac app and upgraded version of LFS are available now.  

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How to Deal with Regulatory Compliance

This week, I will be attending the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin, Texas. Myself, and fellow Mimecast team members, will be meeting with a host of Exchange administrators, IT directors, managers, visionaries and all-round email-savvy individuals.

Plus, on Tuesday morning, Microsoft Exchange MVP, J. Peter Bruzzese, will deliver a session exploring the topic of regulatory compliance, and options and tools available to help administrators enhance their Exchange 2013 and Office 365 environments. I have had the pleasure of co-presenting at past events with J. Peter on this very subject and I guarantee it will be entertaining and informative – just think back to how you first used email and more importantly, what you sent.

Join Mimecast and J. Peter Bruzzese this week at the Microsoft Exchange Conference.

Join Mimecast and J. Peter Bruzzese this week at the Microsoft Exchange Conference.

During the session, J. Peter will explore regulatory compliance issues dating back to when email was first being deployed. Back then, regulations simply did not exist for Exchange admins, so there was no conflict. The biggest problem we faced was disk space and we used strict quotas to address that issue. But the IT world changed in the early 2000’s when Enron and other scandals broke; not to mention an uptick in legal cases that relied on email evidence, lines being crossed with insider trading, and other breeches that caused governments around the globe to focus hugely on corporate messaging and e-discovery. With this shift, regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, the Patriot Act, and HIPPA became commonplace in the world of the Exchange admin. This is when we saw the beginning of the regulatory compliance nightmare that admins face every day.

Over time, some admins have decided to fall back on corporate policies that retain very little email data (15, 30, 60 day retention), while others see the risk in doing so – or they do not have the legal flexibility to curtail regulatory compliance standards.

For those admins who have decided to – or simply have to – enforce regulatory compliance policies, they often rely on the built-in tools that Exchange and Office 365 provide. J. Peter’s session will review these tools, including In-Place Archiving, In-Place e-Discovery and In-Place Hold, as well as retention policies, transport rules and more. In addition, he will discuss third-party tools, such as Mimecast, that can truly help admins remain compliant, but ease the management burden, plus give end users complete controlled access to their email archive from any device.

We hope to see you at J. Peter’s session: “Eliminate the Regulatory Compliance Nightmare” which is happening on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. And don’t forget to visit us at booth 105. Ask for me – we can swap email stories and I may just give you a copy of J. Peter’s new book: “Conversational Exchange in 10 Days.” This is a fun and conceptual primer for newbies to the world of Exchange. If I’m not there – tell them I sent you.