One hospital’s roundabout journey to Barracuda Email Protection
We’re confident that the quality of Barracuda’s products is enough to impress any prospective customer. But it normally takes more than half an hour for them to make their minds up. That wasn’t the case with Dutch hospital St Jansdal, which signed off on Barracuda Email Protection after just a 30-minute demo.
It's even more pleasing to see a valued customer return to the fold after a two-year hiatus. We’re delighted to be rebuilding a trusted relationship with the healthcare provider.
Healthcare built on secure foundations
St Jansdal is a community-based hospital in Harderwijk, around 40 miles east of Amsterdam. The organization prides itself on high-quality, patient-centered care. Yet increasingly in the sector, delivering this kind of service to the local community requires a strong focus on cybersecurity. In the U.S. last year, an estimated 45 million individuals were impacted by data breaches — a number that has tripled in just three years. Ransomware is also a major threat to day-to-day operations, shutting down an estimated half of U.S. hospital networks in the first half of 2021 alone.
Head of IT at St Jansdal, Sietse van der Haar was well aware of the challenges facing his organization. As a top-three vector for ransomware, email protection has always been top of mind. He cites ransomware, phishing, and data leaks as the main threats keeping him awake at night.
The long and winding road
Barracuda had been providing email security for the hospital’s 4,000 inboxes for around a decade. However, in 2019 a decision was taken for supply chain reasons to switch to an alternative vendor.
“We had another vendor in our contract with a back-end supplier, so it was financially easier for us at the time to make the switch,” says Sietse. “But our system administrators were not so happy we were changing because they were big fans of Barracuda.”
In fact, the company soon found that they were right, as the administrative burden on the IT team soared. Sietse and his three network administrators were spending an estimated 50% extra time in the product portal than they had been with Barracuda, sapping productivity.
Good sense eventually prevailed, and with the hospital migrating to Microsoft 365, a decision was taken to reappraise its email security posture. One 30-minute demo later, Sietse was convinced that returning to Barracuda was the right approach. However, it wasn’t just the enhanced usability that attracted him to Barracuda Email Protection.
“The financials were very important, as were the analytics capabilities which you have on the latest version,” he says. “This is granular data which we can see in the dashboard to trace the source of email threats. It was spot on — exactly what we were looking for.”
Deployment has been “very easy” so far, with just a few more configuration steps to go before a scheduled go live date of December. Sietse and the team are looking forward to the productivity savings, which he hopes will free them to focus work on firewall management and higher value tasks.
In the meantime, Barracuda has cemented the relationship with a donation to a new children’s wing at St Jansdal, earning it “golden friend” status. As the hospital’s motto says: “We care for one another.”