Ensuring business continuity through email archiving

Victor Yeo, Head of IT, Dentons Rodyk (left), and Nick Lennon, Vice President APAC, Mimecast (right). Image courtesy of Mimecast.

Even in the age of videoconferencing, self-driving cars, and quantum computing, email – a decades-old system for sending electronic messages – remains essential for communicating in the modern workplace. It’s asynchronous, and everyone still uses it.

Email is particularly important in the legal industry. Attorneys and other legal professionals use email software for storing and sorting emails that include private information from clients. When lawyers and office staff carry out their work, they need to access these emails regularly.

This is precisely why Dentons Rodyk, one of Singapore’s largest law firms, has decided to use email management vendor Mimecast’s continuity and archiving solutions.

According to Victor Yeo, Head of IT at Dentons Rodyk, a key issue the firm faced was having an on-premises email archiving solution that required significant system maintenance to keep up with security and technology updates.

“We also had disparate IT systems focusing on different requirements, which increased the management complexity and exacerbated an ever-growing storage requirement,” Yeo shared. “Due to the pandemic, we also needed to incorporate new technology structures required for hybrid work.”

Denton Rodyk’s partnership with Mimecast, said Yeo, allowed the law firm to streamline their email security infrastructure, while also providing access to regular security updates, and enabling the ability to keep their services always on.

“Continuity is essential as legal work is often time-sensitive and requires an always-on connection to the firm’s e-services,” said Yeo. 

Email continuity allows the firm’s users to access and continue using email, even if Denton Rodyk’s on-premises email servers become unavailable due to maintenance or outages.

“The continuity feature can be turned on in minutes, and allows employees to continue sending emails on any device, including via Mimecast’s mobile app,” he added. “The auto resync feature allows us to recover our main email services quickly. This means we’re not only able to continue working during downtime, but can retain and quickly recover information once our services resume functionality.”

Mimecast’s archiving solution is said to improve the search functionality of emails on both desktop and mobile. It ensures the firm stays compliant with regulatory requirements and data protection laws when retaining and deleting emails within the archive.

Furthermore, the tools play well with the email software that Dentons Rodyk uses.

“Mimecast’s tools readily integrate with the Microsoft Outlook client, and work effectively with other Outlook integrated tools,” Yeo remarked. “Mimecast is a key platform in our business, as it is the single gateway for all our emails. It allows us to journal and track emails that are sent both to and from our organisation. We use e-discovery to track down emails on either desktops or mobile platforms, making it a useful tool in the ongoing hybrid working environment.”

Achieving cyber resilience

Mimecast, however, isn’t the only email management product out there. Why should organisations adopt it instead of other competing platforms?

“We chose Mimecast Archiving because it is a cloud-based solution and is easily accessible. It is comprehensive and provides the key services and solutions we need, while being cost-effective. Its ease of use and integration with Outlook means that we are able to work on a platform we are already familiar with,” Yeo explained.

Moreover, Mimecast provides a cloud-based service that aims to support a cyber resilience strategy, said Nick Lennon, Vice President APAC at Mimecast.

“As email-borne threats become more prevalent and sophisticated, many organisations have shifted to a cyber resilience strategy to better protect their business, data, and employees,” observed Lennon.

Cyber resilience focuses on combating attacks and ensuring continuity during a successful attack and fast recovery after a threat is neutralised. This, said Lennon, allows an organisation to continue with business as usual and is becoming increasingly important as more companies adopt Microsoft 365 – making it a gold mine for threat actors.

“Cyber resilience requires advanced security solutions to defend against a myriad of threats, to back up and archive email data for fast recovery, and to provide continuous access to email even when attacks cause servers to go down,” he continued.

To achieve this, law firms like Dentons Rodyk need to have protection and management of their data.

“They require a robust cyber resilience plan,” said Lennon. “Law firms host highly confidential information requiring advanced protection from email threats. Time-sensitive cases also mean that they cannot afford any email downtime, meaning a continuity solution is essential.”

With Mimecast’s continuity product, said Lennon, email will continue to flow even when email servers are down because of an attack, outage, or planned downtime. Employees can continue to send and receive email, and access historic email, attachments, and calendar information from any device.

“Additionally, having an archiving solution means that they are always able to access their data in the event of a cyberattack or other kind of disruption. Mimecast archiving also ensures that litigation hold and compliance needs are supported by granular email retention policies and near real-time search,” he added.

Technology plans

Now that Dentons Rodyk has an email management solution in place, what’s next for the law firm? For Yeo, it means embracing digital changes rather than avoiding opportunities to innovate.

“Dentons Rodyk has started using more cloud services and we hope to see efficiency from cloud adoption. More importantly, we look towards integrating different systems that help drive digitalisation to support the hybrid work model and meet the changing trends of office modernisation,” he revealed.

According to Yeo, the firm has also leveraged advances in legal technology – including artificial intelligence (AI) and other legal process automation – to improve their operations.

“COVID-19 has propelled digital transformation and there will be even more pressure, post-pandemic, for the legal sector to do more for less. We are seeing big changes as more organisations in the field adopt a digital-first mindset,” Yeo noted.

Mimecast has started utilising AI as well.

“In the last year, we have introduced AI and machine learning solutions to improve our security offerings, and we will continue to improve these products to adapt to the changing threats,” said Lennon.

The email management vendor is also adapting their technologies to serve different types of customers. Lennon remarked that smaller, less complex organisations may be looking for an additional layer of protection to improve the security they have on their existing email platform.

“We’re also looking to evolve our products to adapt to changing work models and to ensure that hybrid workforces are always protected against cyberthreats that come through email and any other platforms they may be working or collaborating on,” he concluded.