Texas Credit Union League

August 10, 2015

BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Following an IT audit, the Texas Credit Union League came to the conclusion that their electronic messaging policy need to be expanded and improved upon. After creating and distributing their new policy to staff, they were immediately faced with the problem of how to effectively implement it.

PROOFPOINT SOLUTION
After evaluating a number of email archiving solution providers, TCUL chose Proofpoint to help them implement and enforce their messaging policy, improve email storage management and increase employee access to email records.

RESULTS ACHIEVED

  • Automatic policy enforcement and minimal burden on IT
  • Reduced burden on Exchange Server & improved business continuity
  • Advanced search for end-users

PRODUCTS DEPLOYED

  • Proofpoint Enterprise Archiving

SITUATION 
The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) came to the conclusion that a number of their policies need to be expanded and improved upon. The first, and most critical of these policy updates, was their electronic messaging policy.

While searching for resources to help improve their policy, the League's Vice President of Information Systems, Bill Braun, found the Policy Builder by Proofpoint, an online template tool that allows businesses to easily create and edit their own electronic messaging policy. Using the tool, the organization created and distributed their new policy to staff; however, they were immediately faced with the problem of effectively implementing it. As part of the requirements of the policy, certain emails needed to be archived for a defined period of time.

“The Policy Builder by Proofpoint was by far the most comprehensive tool I found – and to make it even more appealing, it was available at no cost and was very easy to use,” said Braun. “But once we had our policy nailed down, we realized that enforcement was going to be a challenge.”

The League was left with two options to enforce their archiving requirements. First, they could rely on staff to manually print out any email meeting the archiving policy (such as HR-related messages), and store it in hard copy. This solution would be time-consuming and prone to errors. The alternative was to implement an email archiving solution that could automate the process, reducing the burden on staff and improving the effectiveness of policy enforcement. When the additional benefits of an email archiving solution were considered, including end-user productivity and email storage management improvements, TCUL decided their best option was to implement email archiving.

TCUL created a list of requirements for an email archiving solution and began the process of vetting vendors. Braun looked at both in-house and outsourced solutions and quickly realized that an outsourced solution was preferable.

“For an organization of our size, outsourcing made more sense than bringing a solution in-house,” said Braun. “We really didn't want to invest in major infrastructure changes or add personnel to our IT team, so we needed a solution that required minimal maintenance – basically, a plug-and-play option.”

Braun also liked the 'pay-as-you-go' model offered by an outsourced solution. In addition to helping them manage costs, it provided a level of predictability that in-house solutions lacked. “When you have an in-house solution, you really have no idea what your costs will be in the long run,” suggested Braun, “We can't predict what our needs will be seven years from now, but with a scalable, outsourced solution, we know that we'll be in a position to meet those needs without wasting money on excess infrastructure.”

The only major concern that an outsourced solution presented was data security. By storing their archived data offsite, TCUL recognized that they may be vulnerable to a data breach. They also had concerns about future privacy regulations that might limit how and where data was stored.

SOLUTION
TCUL evaluated four or five outsourced email archiving solution providers before looking at Proofpoint. In every case, the solution fell short of the organization's requirements.

“By the time we looked at Proofpoint, we had almost exhausted our options and none of them could provide all the features I was looking for,” said Braun. “So I was really surprised when Proofpoint's Email Archiving solution not only met all my concerns, but actually exceeded my expectations in terms of functionality.”

After reviewing Proofpoint, the company soon decided it was the obvious choice. In addition to features like real-time end-user searching, advanced search for legal discovery, and automatic policy enforcement, one of the key factors influencing the League's decision was Proofpoint's DoubleBlind Encryption™ technology, which ensures the privacy of their archived data.

“When talking about storing all our email offsite, data security has to be a concern,” said Braun. “With Proofpoint, we're the only ones with access to the encryption key, so we don't have to worry about a third-party getting access to sensitive data.”

BENEFITS
One of the key factors for TCUL was finding a solution that could be easily managed and maintained. With Proofpoint's policy tool, a staff member can update their policy from a web-browser window, and automatically enforce it without involving the IT department.

“We face the same challenges as any other company,” said Braun. “With Proofpoint, our policy can be easily changed as our needs change, it's automatically enforced, and we don't have to worry about managing the storage of the archived data.”

TCUL was accustomed to dealing with the challenges of using a Microsoft Exchange server as their only email storage. As the organization and its reliance on email grew, so did their need for more server storage. “We were running backups almost 24-7, just to keep up. With such large backups, we worried about how long restoration would take in an emergency,” suggested Braun.

With Proofpoint Email Archiving in place, TCUL is reducing the burden on the Exchange server by tightening up their routine maintenance 'clean up' policy (which automatically deletes items after a certain period of time). This means less data on the Exchange server and shorter backup periods. This can be done without worrying about ever losing access to critical data.

“Another big plus with having Proofpoint is the additional level of business continuity it provides,” said Braun. “Even if we were faced with a big hurricane, we know that a complete archive of our email will always be safely stored at Proofpoint's datacenters.”

ABOUT TEXAS CREDIT UNION LEAGUE
The Texas Credit Union League represents approximately 600 not-for-profit Texas credit unions and their seven million member-owners. The League works on behalf of Texas credit unions, providing legislative & regulatory advocacy, education & training, as well as resources to help credit unions succeed in their mission to provide affordable financial services to people from all walks of life.