William Novak is Director of IT at Meaden & Moore, a full-service accounting, CPA, and business consulting firm with 12 offices and a couple hundred employees throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK. With 35 years of experience in the IT industry, Novak leads a team of four to oversee technology for the organization, rolling out services and solutions to make sure that users are up to date, safe, and secure.
Strengthening email security has been a focus for William and his team after recent frustrations with their incumbent solution. We recently sat down with William to discuss cloud backup, email protection, and the ways Barracuda is helping them overcome challenges.
Q&A with William Novak, Director of IT at Meaden & Moore
How long have you been a Barracuda customer?
We became a Barracuda customer in 2019 after we moved to Office 365. We spent about a year moving our users to the new platform. With our legacy on-premise system, we were using a local product to back up our Outlook data. We knew moving to the cloud that we would encounter issues if we did on-prem backups, so we wanted to have a product that worked well with it. We needed a cloud-to-cloud backup for Office 365. We did some research, and Barracuda has the best product for our needs.
How has working with Barracuda made life easier for you and your team?
Getting started with Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup was simple. We can create policies easily, and when there's an issue, it's clear on what the issue is and how to fix it. Barracuda gives you the toolset and the information you need to make sure it works. The technical papers and information on the website make it easy to understand how to do things, and Barracuda’s technical support has been responsive. That’s what matters to our firm.Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup is simple. Creating policies are easy, and when there's an issue, it's clear on what the issue is and how to fix it. Click To Tweet
How has your engagement with Barracuda has grown and evolved?
One of the strategies I have in my role is to always look at evolving, innovative, and market-strong technologies. We want to make sure we have a well-versed solution that is a proven market leader and is easy to implement. We started looking at other offerings for email security because the product we had been using for the past few years has not been working well. We needed a vendor that could not only show to us what they’re doing to stay relevant in today's times, but also what they’re doing to keep up with technology. Looking at the market reports, that’s somewhere Barracuda email solutions seem to lead, so we’re adding Barracuda Total Email Protection.
What challenges did you see with other solutions?
We use a cloud-based performance management product. Over the past year, all of a sudden, our email security product started to block those messages along with other messages that were being delivered on a regular basis. Changes like this always make me concerned that the product in production is starting to lose traction.
When you were evaluating new email protection solutions, what criteria were you looking at?
One thing I always look at is knowledge of the product and presentation skills. We had a couple other vendors give us presentations on their products, and honestly, some of them were so run of the mill and lacked information and were just plain boring. In comparison, the presentation with Barracuda showed a great understanding of the product. To me, that first meeting is key. You have to capture the audience, and Barracuda did that. You have to make it feel like you're doing that presentation for the first time ever, especially with new prospective clients.
What was your purchasing experience like with Barracuda?
One part that stands out is the Email Threat Scan the team did with us, because it gave us insight into what our current product was not doing for us and what it was missing. That helped tremendously. It proved what we thought was happening there.
Where are you finding the most value with Total Email Protection?
There's always an aha moment, and I think the aha moment for this, was doing the scan and seeing what our other product was not doing. The way the Barracuda interfaces are designed, because of the components built into it, seemed simple, yet impactful. The interface around the policies and how quick and simple they are, is valuable to us. The other products we had, policy settings were deeply embedded into the application, so it took too much time for my team to not only produce them, but also find them later if we had to make a change.'There's always an aha moment, and I think the aha moment for this, was doing the email threat scan and seeing what our other product was not doing.Click To Tweet
What types of threats are you most concerned about?
The threats that scare me most are not digital. They're physical threats, like phone calls, sneaking behind someone coming into the office, stealing laptops that are not secure in a hidden location and other types of social engineering. For example, in a local city down the street from me, a storeowner got a phone call and ended up purchasing $3,000 worth of gift cards and giving them to the person who called. How do people get trained or educated on threats like that? We do the best we can on cybersecurity education, but we also need a product that will continue to take care of the digital threats. There is always that new person coming in that missed a training or clicked on something they should have not and your firm needs to minimize the number of threats you have coming in through email. That is what Barracuda will do for us, minimize that threat and continue to when threats change.
Anne Campbell is the public relations manager for Barracuda. She's been with the organization since 2014, working on content and public relations for Barracuda MSP, the MSP-dedicated business unit of Barracuda. She started her career in newspaper and magazine journalism, and she brings that editorial point of view the work she does, using it to help craft compelling stories.