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Mimecast Unified Email Management May 9, 2013

Posted by Doug Blankenship in Mimecast - Email Archive.
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Mimecast is a cloud based unified email management tool that provides messaging admins with all the tools they need to be successful in managing the ever growing requirements of the organization.  The typical messaging admin needs to address security threats & vulnerabilities, archiving, message retention, HIPPA and PHI encryption, message size limits, reporting, auditing, and message tracking etc etc.  You get the drift.

So, when it comes time to implement systems that will do all of that, the next thing you know is your now spread across three, four, or even five different systems that will all provide the admin with the functionality they need but now the admin also needs to be proficient in all the various systems not to mention the cost associated with implementing and licensing all these systems.  What a time consuming nightmare!!  I’m sure those reading this are shaking there heads because you have been there too.  So what is the solution, Mimecast.

Mimecast offers all this and more in a single console that is very intuitive to learn and has an excellent knowledge base to help the admin or anyone who would like to better understand al the offerings of the product.  http://www.mimecast.com/knowledgebase/

Enough of the marketing speak.  If your like me, I just want to know how it works and what are the risks associated with cloud based archiving and filtering.  Basically, Mimecast provides a seven step approach to get customers on board, you are assigned a Mimecast technical implementation engineer and a project manager who is well versed in the product.  You will hold a kickoff meeting that outlines the steps as follows:

  • Step 1: Request for Information (RFI) – Gathers technical point of contact, sending and receiving IP addresses and email domain name(s), forwarding addresses, validation method (i.e LDAP integration or local imported accounts)
  • Step 2: Mimecast account creation – Mimecast creates your account in the cloud based on the RFI information provided.
  • Step 3: Send Messages outbound via Mimecast – Configure your firewall to send messages to a specific set of IP ranges provided by Mimecast.  These data center are geographic for Eupore, South Africa, and North America.  Outbound should flow for at least two weeks to build pairing of who users are sending messages to.
  • Step 4: Recipient Validation & Message Journaling – The step works through the AD integration for users to sign into.  A certificate must be acquired for this step or you can use self signed certificates for this step.  The self signed cert requires Mimecast to place your account in “relaxed” mode.
  • Step 5: Allow Mimecast to accept email by changing your MX records – Here you need to set the TTL to 5 minutes or what ever your comfortable with and then change your MX record pointers with the ISP to the Mimecast provided records.  You will see your mail flow change almost immediately.
  • Step 6: Firewall Lockdown – Validating firewall ports, IP ranges, certificates to avoid any denial of service attacks
  • Step 7: Confirmation and Project Close out – Everything is deployed and functioning, project closure meetings and finalize all settings.  Done!

Now that everything is implemented you can mange everything from a central console from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection 🙂  I have been very happy with Mimecast from the implemtation, configuration, knowledge base, 24x7x365 support.  Mimecast is always improving on customer demands and have new offerings/enhancements every quarter it seems.  Okay, well maybe not every quarter but at least twice a year.  These are deployed with ample notification to the technical point of contact and with no downtime.

One last thing, did I mention that Mimecast offers 10 year retention and disaster recovery out of the box?  No, well that is icing on the cake I just got to eat. 🙂

I’ll add more on other Mimecast offerings such as MPP (Mimecast personal portal 4.1.0.xxx) that will allow users to perform searches from Outlook, provides automatic failover to cloud in the event you loose connection to Exchange. Search, manage users allow or block, send encrypted messages via CCM etc.  Stay tuned….