An English boarding school for international students, Rugby School, is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain. Just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Rugby School merged with Bilton Grange Preparatory School, meaning the school’s seven-strong IT team had two sites to manage email security across an intensely difficult time.

When the pandemic struck, the school suddenly had to rapidly shift to remote learning – not only across the UK, but in China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries. Not only did this present
a huge undertaking for its IT team, but their cybersecurity risk increased as its perimeter significantly widened.

Email security burden weighs down internal IT staff

Reflecting on the period, Grant Johnson, IT Director at Rugby School commented, “We were aware of the threat landscape and knew that we were about to become far more vulnerable. We needed the tools in place to ensure we reacted to these threats as swiftly as possible and were able to manage ourselves when things do go wrong.”

As the pandemic worsened, Rugby School became totally reliant on email and messaging to communicate. Significant downtime in this period could significantly impact student learning and
teacher planning, something the school simply couldn’t afford. There were also compliance requirements that the school had to meet in its reporting to its governance.

MSP utilizes Barracuda Essentials and Sentinel for Rugby School

Realizing it needed a solution as soon as possible, Rugby School turned to Commercial IT Services, an MSP dedicated to providing complete office solutions that ensure customers of all sectors can smoothly, sustainably, and securely focus on mission-critical activities. Commercial IT Services, in turn, recommended Barracuda as the solution to Johnson’s troubles.

Jordan Thomas, Senior Account Manager, Commercial IT Services, said, “Security technology and protecting against email attacks are of significant importance for the school and Commercial IT Services was instructed to provide the guidance required to source the best solution for the requirements. Barracuda is a leader in security and the level of features to prevent, detect and respond against threats were a perfect match to be introduced into the technology portfolio at Rugby School.”

“We were looking for protection and backup and we were looking for it fast – Barracuda had both those things, via Essentials and Sentinel, in a very attractive package. Bringing them on board was a no-brainer. Office 365 mailboxes are protected, data is backed up and with Sentinel, the AI-based threat detection is incredibly valuable with its no administration and real-time threat protection.”

“Rugby School was delighted with the recommendation to introduce Barracuda by Commercial IT Services, we regularly discuss how Barracuda can continue to provide value with products and solutions that support the objectives of the school moving forward” said Thomas.

Email security saves school costs and boosts productivity

Johnson and his team saw the benefits of their new solution immediately. “We went to a third party while we were searching for a new solution and found out that, if we had sourced the items we eventually serviced from Barracuda, it would have cost us tens of thousands more than it ultimately did.”

Rugby School tangentially raised the profile of its email security, which allowed the IT team to be completely transparent as they present far more information in a much more digestible format. The school’s IT team also reported significant time savings as a result of bringing Barracuda on board.

“Everything is accessible through a single pane of glass, meaning every feature, every figure we could possibly need, is available at the swipe of a finger. Previously, we lost a lot of time simply searching for what we needed through a mess of different systems and interfaces. Now we spend a couple of minutes a day checking the one dashboard.” As a result, Johnson’s scarce IT team has far more time to focus on mission-critical activities.

“Quite simply, the Barracuda and Commercial IT Services teams delivered an amazing project during a stressful time. We’re incredibly impressed with the level of support we’ve received at every step of the way, and are extremely grateful to the team for continuing to make us feel like we’re not alone when dealing with this.”

To learn more about how to protect your customers’ Office 365 inboxes, visit our Barracuda Essentials and Sentinel pages.

To learn how other Partners are improving their businesses, check out Barracuda MSP’s collection of Success Stories.

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Photo: Michael715 / Shutterstock

Posted by Lindsay Faria

As Director of Content and Partner Marketing, Lindsay Faria is dedicated to empowering Barracuda MSP partners to grow their businesses by providing tools and information to make marketing and selling their data protection services as effective, fast and easy as possible.

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