Security at Scale

The education sector is one routinely stretched thin from staffing to budgets and resources. This is especially true of their IT departments, where the workload is often overwhelming and rarely predictable. Ultimately, IT staff in school environments spend more time fighting proverbial fires and less time on more high-value tasks.

With 13 schools in southeast England to care for and 7,000 users (staff and students), The Cam Academy Trust understood these difficulties more than most – particularly Cybersecurity Engineer Michael Terry. Michael had found himself spending around 20 hours per week on mundane repetitive tasks in a previous role, and wasn’t keen to continue this with The Cam Academy Trust.

When the trust came to migrate fully to Microsoft 365 last year, security was front of mind. They were searching for a third-party email and backup vendor. Scalability was a priority here, with the Trust responsible for managing around 7,000 staff and student inboxes. After careful consideration, Cam Academy Trust decided on Barracuda Email Protection. That’s where Michael entered the equation – brought into the organisation as their dedicated cybersecurity specialist to manage this new solution.

Threat Prevention, Detection and Response

Barracuda Email Protection offers comprehensive cloud-native protection for Microsoft 365 against all major email threat types. It includes Advanced Threat Protection which uses behavioural analysis and other techniques to block malicious links and attachments. There’s also AI technology to power Impersonation Protection, which prevents more sophisticated spear-phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attempts. Incident Response has been designed to rapidly remediate in the event a threat does creep through, and there’s Security Awareness Training to help turn employees into a strong first line of defence.

Also included in the suite, and another selling point for The Cam Academy Trust, is Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup. It offers flexible, comprehensive backup and granular restore capabilities for Teams, Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive data. Simple to deploy and use, it delivers transparent reporting and logging alongside enhanced role-based security. Following deployment, the trust has no complaints about the few times it has needed support. The Barracuda team was “fantastic” when contacted and resolved the issue in a day, Michael says.

Michael also made the most of ARO’s expert technical support. “When I first started working directly with ARO for our Barracuda support, it was a refreshing change to my previous experience with other third-party providers.” said Michael. “The ARO team have been absolutely fantastic, quickly responding to all my questions and support queries, going the extra mile to assist with all my additional questions, provide training, and helping me to understand the intricacies of the products we use.”

Clarity and Control

Although the security team at The Cam Academy Trust is only small, their efficiency has increased exponentially with the implementation of Barracuda Email Protection. Michael is already experiencing the benefits of a reduced workload and improved confidence in the Trust’s cyber posture. “You know the information you’re getting is reliable and straightforward, especially in Impersonation Protection,” says Michael. It’s been able to block more generic spam and phishing attempts that use simple Gmail addresses loaded with malicious links and attachments, as well as malware-free BEC scams urging named recipients to pay fake invoices. Michael claims to be seeing fewer sophisticated threats today, potentially as a result of Barracuda stopping them before they hit inboxes. “I know these sorts of things are still out there as I speak to friends and colleagues in the industry and read reports online,” he continues. “We’re just not seeing them, so it could be that Barracuda is doing a fantastic job there.”

Michael has plenty to be excited about moving forwards – together with the team at ARO and Barracuda’s technology, The Cam Academy Trust is now able to achieve all of its cybersecurity goals. Even with Security Awareness Training, which Michael hopes to make more use of in the coming months to give the Trust yet another layer of protection.

Get in touch to start your cybersecurity journey today.