How Office-IT Fortified its Email Security and Managed Security Services with Vade
Office-IT is a Belgium-based managed service provider with offices in Olen, Deurne, and Mortsel. Specializing in networking and security, the company provides managed IT services and consulting to small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises with in-house IT departments. A family business in operation for more than 10 years, Office-IT takes a customer-oriented approach to IT.
Founded in 2012, Office-IT opened its doors as a family business offering managed services. With just five employees, the company sought to fill a gap they noticed in the local market. “From the time my father and uncle started Office-IT, we set out to provide trusted value and a service-driven solution to clients. Our goal was to give IT a face and ensure that our customers dealt with the same people at our company,” said Kurt Liekens, Sales Manager at Office-IT.
Since its founding, Office-IT has grown 20 percent annually and expanded from a team of five to 30 full-time employees. Over that time, the managed service provider has expanded its managed security services to include networking, endpoint protection, and email security.
Defender doesn’t provide great protection, and Microsoft is a very targeted brand. That’s when we realized we needed a solution independent from Microsoft.
As Office-IT began migrating its SMB clients to Microsoft 365, the company observed a sharp increase in phishing and spam emails targeting its customers.
“At the time we noticed an increase in attacks, we were using Microsoft Defender,” said Liekens. “Defender doesn’t provide great protection, and Microsoft is a very targeted brand. That’s when we realized we needed a solution independent from Microsoft.”
Beyond providing better protection through email security, Office-IT also saw the need for more effective user awareness training, as human behavior remains the leading reason cyberattacks are successful. For optimal cybersecurity, Office-IT recognized that users needed to be able to spot and appropriately respond to malicious links and attachments.
Other considerations complicated Office-IT’s search for a solution. The company wanted email security that didn’t disrupt or delay the normal email flow of clients, a key disadvantage of using sandboxes and secure email gateways.
Cost and flexibility were also major factors. “We wanted a competitively priced product that would allow us to provide the same level of customer service to our clients,” said Liekens. That meant finding technology that didn’t require more time, expertise, or talent.
Still, the company knew it faced obstacles in convincing new and existing clients of the need for additional email security. “Some clients care about technical requirements, others about business value. And some don’t believe they’re at risk of being attacked,” said Liekens.
WHY OFFICE-IT CHOSE VADE
- Advanced, real-time threat detection and filtering
- API-based integration with Microsoft 365
- Automated and advanced user awareness training
- Low-touch cybersecurity
- Competitive pricing
Office-IT attended the DattoCon19 event in October 2019 to find an email security solution and provider that would fit its needs. Rather than seeking an all-in-one solution for cybersecurity, the company’s technical team set out to find the best-in-class product. They evaluated multiple solutions before selecting Vade. “Datto highly recommended Vade,” said Liekens. “And Vade performed the best among all email security solutions.”
Office-IT chose Vade for M365 for clients using or migrating to Microsoft 365, and Vade Cloud for those with on-premise environments using Microsoft Exchange. The company combined Vade with other solutions, including endpoint and firewall security, to build an integrated cybersecurity stack. “For us, our security model layers best-of-breed solutions to ensure protection,” said Liekens.
Vade for M365 is an AI-based email security solution for Microsoft 365 that integrates with Microsoft 365 via REST API. The solution features robust post-delivery features that provide continuous protection, remediation capabilities, and managed service capabilities for MSPs. Leveraging a core set of AI technologies, including Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing algorithms, the solution uses behavioral analysis to block advanced zero-day phishing attacks, targeted spear phishing attempts, and polymorphic malware and ransomware.
Datto highly recommended Vade,” said Liekens. “And Vade performed the best among all email security solutions.”
Purpose-built for MSPs, Vade for M365 is a low-touch solution that includes integrated features that empower MSPs to provide maximal security with minimal effort:
- MSP Response: Centralizes Microsoft 365 tenants in a unified dashboard that features aggregated email logs and one-click remediation across tenants.
- Auto-Remediate: Scans email continually and automatically removes threats post-delivery.
- Vade Threat Coach™: Delivers automated, contextual training sessions when users interact with phishing emails.
- Threat Intel & Investigation: Provides the integrations, intel, and tools to investigate and respond to email-borne threats transiting through networks.
Vade Cloud is a cloud-based email security solution powered by the same AI-engine as Vade for M365 and supports multiple email clients in addition to Microsoft.
After partnering with Vade, Office-IT saw a significant improvement in its clients’ email security. “Since adopting Vade, we haven’t gotten any complaints from our customers about being targeted by phishing attacks. They also have a lot more trust in the security of their email,” said Liekens. “They appreciate the value-added reporting that shows the threats that Vade is blocking by category, such as phishing, spear phishing, and spam.”
When asked about the most noticeable results of partnering with Vade, Liekens pointed to the stability of the solution and what he calls the “three-factor security” of Vade. “That’s the initial filtering of email, the continual scanning of phishing pages, and the post-delivery remediation of threats,” he said.
Another benefit of the solution, Liekens noted, is that Vade doesn’t interfere with the daily operations of Office-IT’s clients. “There’s no delay in the flow of emails. Vade runs in the background as a very stable product. I can’t recall any breach ever occurring with Vade.”
“Our clients also highly appreciate Threat Coach™,” said Liekens, referring to Vade’s automated, contextualized user awareness training. “Even today, I got a comment from a client about how much they value it.” Threat Coach™ delivers ongoing training to users that is personalized to reflect the context and content of their email interactions and is delivered automatically whenever users encounter a phishing threat.
Currently, 60 percent of Office-IT’s clients use Vade. The company is looking to increase this percentage to include all customers, some of which are planning to migrate to Microsoft 365. “We are focused on giving two proof-of-concepts each month to onboard more existing customers.”
Office-IT has made Vade for M365 a standard part of their offering to new clients. Importantly, it believes the solution is important to driving the acquisition of new business and the company’s organic growth. “For new clients, it’s a good time to sell additional security. Europe is a popular target for cybercrime, and our government was just attacked here in Belgium recently,” said Liekens. “I live in Antwerp, and I can’t make an appointment at the city hall for a month because of a cyberattack. For the second largest city in Belgium, that’s shocking.”
Vade is at the forefront of our security model, since most attacks are coming through email. The more threats we can stop and prevent from reaching users, the better our overall security. Vade doesn’t just strengthen email security, it improves user awareness. We will always tell our prospects and clients that they can’t live without Vade.