July 5

From big to huge: fast-growing UK utilities contractor gets powerful, scalable Microsoft 365 security

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Some of the most gratifying stories we hear from customers involve IT admins who’ve used Barracuda products in previous jobs, and then come to a new job that doesn’t have Barracuda. 

They tell very similar stories, about coming into their new role and being taken aback at how much more difficult, unreliable, and time-consuming security is. They realize that they had come to take for granted the advanced capabilities and ease of use that set Barracuda apart. And then they lead a drive to implement Barracuda in their new organization.

Mo Dawood went from being IT director at a fairly large company, Sapphire Utility Solutions, to having the same role at a much larger company, Lanes Group, when the two organizations merged. 

In the process, he went from having to secure an eight-location organization to securing one with 52 locations, not to mention more than 3,500 employees, 80% of whom work remotely in the field. And Lanes Group has no intention of slowing its growth rate.

But the IT security infrastructure Mo found at Lanes Group, compared to his previous role, was disappointing. He worried that security challenges would grow along with the company if he didn’t implement some significant changes.

As Mo puts it, “I needed something in place to a) give me visibility to see what’s going on; and b) give me the reassurance that it’s doing things proactively and with multiple layers of protection.”

You can find the whole story of how Mo overcame his challenges and drove major improvements in the full case study

On-prem email, outdated security

When Mo came to Lanes Group following the merger, the company used primarily on-prem email servers protected by Mimecast. Because he’d implemented Barracuda Email Security and Microsoft 365 at his previous post, Mo quickly realized that Lanes’ current security lacked a lot of features and capabilities that he’d come to take for granted.

“We’ve had to be more hands on in trying to detect and remediate potential issues. We spend a lot more time monitoring. And when emails have gotten through, we have to manually contact users, and log on to their machines to remediate. We never had to do that before, [with Barracuda Email Protection].” — Mo Dawood, IT Director, Lanes Group

And there were a lot of malicious emails getting through, including growing numbers of sophisticated, targeted phishing and impersonation attacks. With a large remote workforce including many with little training in security awareness, Mo was very concerned that it wouldn’t be long before someone made a bad choice that could lead to a data breach or worse.

“It’s essential we had something in place and I personally think Barracuda is best in market,” he said.

Getting modern protection

Mo acted quickly to migrate the Lanes Group fully onto Microsoft 365. This was a terrific move in terms of ongoing scalability, making it much easier to integrate future acquisitions and mergers as the company grows.

And, in keeping with his belief that it’s “best in market,” Mo also made the switch to the Barracuda Email Protection platform.

Lanes Group is now enjoying a broad range of integrated, easy-to-use capabilities, including:


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