Canadian Federal Agency Protects Its Email Environment with Messageware OWA Suite

September 20, 2010, Toronto, Canada – Messageware (http://messagewareinc.wpengine.com), the world's leading provider of enterprise productivity, security, and customization solutions for Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access (OWA), today announced that a large Canadian Federal Government Agency has selected and implemented Messageware OWA Suite. The organization was challenged with needing to improve security for employees accessing email using external PC’s and after implementing the Messageware OWA Suite was able to protect OWA sessions and secure confidential information contained in email attachments and files accessed from public computers.

The agency’s important work requires many of their employees be on the move and away from their offices regularly. Email access while away from the office is critical and security of government communications is mandated - the agency needed a way to make sure it’s email accounts, messages and attachments were safe.

In 2008, the agency decided to deploy OWA in order to provide employees with email access in situations where they could not get access to a VPN connection. “Only employees with an RSA/SecurID token are given access to internal resources, and OWA would not be an exception,” noted the department’s Manager of National Infrastructure Integration and Implementation Group. “Two factor authentication and session encryption are important steps, but they’re not enough.”

To make sure email and/or file attachments wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands, the department needed to have a way to prevent the risks of this occurring when accessing email via OWA on personal and public PCs; including, kiosks or Internet cafes. The information technology managers at the agency needed help to ensure their employees didn’t unknowingly create vulnerabilities by leaving an Outlook Web Access (OWA) session active or documents behind on external PCs after using their email.

After an extensive Internet search of possible solutions, they discovered Messageware’s OWA Suite. “Messageware had several applications that together created the exact protection we needed,” they recalled. “It was the only provider that met our requirements.”

To remove the active session threat, Messageware offered NavGuard, an application for the Microsoft Exchange OWA server that requires a user to logoff OWA before moving on to another Web site. TimeGuard, another tool, applies timeout protection in a user-friendly way and also enforces a maximum session time, ensuring access is not granted if an employee leaves an email session active. NavGuard and TimeGuard work seamlessly with RSA to provide critical OWA security. AttachView converts attachments to secure HTML pages for over 400 files types. Users can easily see and work with files without leaving confidential information on an unsecured computer.

The Agency also wanted a way for their employees to access documents in their native format. Messageware developed a “save confirmation” feature for AttachView. This feature utilizes a pop-up agreement that alerts users to the risks and requires the user to accept responsibility for downloading and saving a document before they are able to gain access to it. Soon after, Messageware developed and delivered the Save Confirmation functionality in both French and English, along with the ability for the agency to customize key features on their own.
IT managers at the agency report that Messageware has made the difference in OWA security. And users are happy the protection didn’t come with a drop in convenience, was easy to use and intuitive to learn.

“We’ve had absolutely no complaints. And we certainly would have heard if there were problems. One user in an extremely remote location told me that accessing email through our OWA system is no better or worse than using Hotmail from a bandwidth perspective, which I take as a complement.”

Along with the operational safeguards, Messageware’s applications delivered additional and unexpectedly welcome benefits. According to the agency, requests for notebooks have dropped dramatically and AttachView immediately reduced their network bandwidth requirements.

“Since people can now get their email from anywhere, they don’t sign out notebooks from our inventory as often. So now we don’t have to have as many available - and we don’t have to spend as much time updating and replacing units. Any organization that decides to deploy OWA should seriously consider Messageware’s OWA Suite. That’s how valuable we’ve found it to be.”

September 20, 2010 | Topics: Case Studies

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