For anyone just starting out with Mimecast, or even those who haven't used it in a while, configuring Mimecast to work the way you want for your organization can be a very daunting task. Mimecast gives you many options on how mail for your organization is accepted, denied, or even the way it looks. With all these options available to you it's hard to know where to start. This list will provide you with a good place to start, and help you learn some of the ins and outs that Mimecast has available to you. More detailed information about the particular topic can be found within the articles linked within each heading.
1. Administration Console
The administration console is the meat and potatoes of Mimecast. It is where you go to configure all aspects of the product. It allows you to define how mail is received, and sent through configuration settings, Policies, and Definitions (more on those in a little bit). To read more about the Administration Console, please see the following documentation: The Administration Console. To log on to the Administration Console you can find the appropriate link for your region at the following area: Administration Console v4. As the article mentions; keep in mind who you log in as. Different user roles are able to see different areas of the console.
When working with policies, try to think of them as defining when something should happening. For example; you can define a policy that sends you a copy of an email when a specified external address sends email to your company. Mimecast has many, many different policies that are available to you as seen in the following article: Gateway Policy Types. To configure a policy for one of these types, please see the following documentation: Configuring a Policy. This article gives a good walk through of how policies are set up, and how they work.
In addition, this article gives good information on how mail is processed within Mimecast. It is also used during Mimecast training: Security Systems. Also, the following article gives good information about why some policies exist, and this document is also used during Mimecast training: Default Connect Policies
Now that we have defined when a particular thing should happen, we need to define what should happen. This is where Definitions come into play; we define what should happen when a policy fires. For example; we could set up a policy that watches any email from an inside address that is sent to an outside address. The definition would then be set up so that if any confidential data is sent out, it is instead blocked from being sent and notifies the sender. As we saw from the policy types list above, not all policies have a definition that need set up. However each definition type is unique to the type of policy that it applies to. Some examples of definitions that can be set up are: Configuring an Attachment Protection Definition, Configuring a Secure Messaging Definition, etc.
4. Personal Portal
The Personal Portal is another way that Mimecast offers you to retrieve your mail. While most of us probably retrieve our mail while sitting at our desks, there are times that we are out of the office in meetings, vacation, etc. The Personal Portal allows you access those same emails that you would see at your desk, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Great information for the Personal Portal can be found at the following link: Mimecast Personal Portal . This site gives a good overview of the Personal Portal, as well as User, and Admin guides on how this aspect works. To log into the personal portal, you can find the link in the following article: Mimecast Personal Portal: Logging In
5. Secure Messaging
As you probably are aware, mail does not go from point A to point B. Just like your regular post office, mail goes from you, to many other stops before it finally reaches the recipient. These stops along the way are vulnerable to people watching them. The person watching one of them can download a copy of the mail, and if not encrypted; can open it up and read it. The good news is that Mimecast offers a service called "Secure Messaging". This allows mail to go from your organization to Mimecast securely....and that's it. The end user then receives a notification that they have been sent a secure message, and is able to open the document from the secure messaging area within Mimecast. Information about the Secure Messaging area can be found at the following link: Secure Messaging. Similar to the personal portal, this site gives a good overview, and provides user and admin guides for how it works. To log on to the secure messaging portal, find the link in the following article that applies to your region: Mimecast Data Centers and URLs.
Policies can be set up in a variety of different ways. For example we can be very granular and say that a policy should fire whenever firstname.lastname@example.org sends an email to Jane in accounting. However, what if management tells you "We now want this to also apply to Bob in accounting". You could certainly set up another policy for anything from email@example.com to Bob in accounting, however that would be tedious. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just set it up so that if anything from firstname.lastname@example.org is sent to a defined group of users that it would trigger the policy? Thankfully Mimecast provides this ability ability in the form of "Profile Groups". These groups make administrators lives much easier because now you can add/remove users from a group, without having to recreate a whole other policy. To configure groups please see the following article:Managing Profile Groups
7. Tracking an email
There are many different things that could happen with mail along the way. Did an email go out? Did we receive an email? Why was an email blocked? Why was an email allowed? These types of questions are asked of administrators on a daily basis, and being able to provide answers to those questions is key to an administrator's role. Thankfully Mimecast gives us the ability to track email down, and give you granular detail down to things like header, and TLS information. More information on how to track an email can be found in the following article: Tracking and Tracing Email Delivery
On a daily basis we get hundreds, if not thousands of email. Keeping every email that is sent to us is not efficient. Having them all in one area eventually becomes very difficult to manage if you are just trying to find one certain email you want. This also starts to affect space on the servers that hold all of the email information, which makes administrators sad. The good news is that Mimecast can archive all of your emails....up to 99 years! That way you can safely delete an email from your inbox, knowing that it is archived away at Mimecast. Remember that email from 2 weeks ago that you deleted, and now you need it for a meeting in 5 minutes? It's okay, Mimecast's got your back. Just open your archive and send it back to yourself. More information about the archiving area can be found in the following article: Archive Administration.
9. Content Examination
Content Examination is a powerful tool within Mimecast, but also can be one of the more complicated aspects. This tool does just what its name implies; it examines the content of your emails for certain information. If that information is found you can do all kinds of things with it. You can forward a copy to another user, send it securely instead, block it from being sent out, etc. To start learning more about this tool, see the guide below regarding the policy:
Now that we understand a little bit about what the policy is, and when it should be used, we then need to define what happens once Mimecast sees one of those types of emails. To do this, see the guide below regarding the definition:
Once you have the policy, and definition defined your emails will now be scanned for the data that you entered. Some examples of when Content Examination can come in handy can be found in the article below:
If you are like me, you may not be the best at defining regular expressions. A site I like to use is regex101.com. This allows you to paste in the data from an email, then define a regular expression make sure it finds only the data you are looking for.
10. Getting help
If all of this seems a little overwhelming, that's because it is. Just learn a little bit at a time, and eventually you'll be a Mimecast Master! If at any time you need help you can call or email Mimecast's technical support from the following site:
Users on the forums are always here to help as well. Just sign up for an account, and post a question to the forums:
You can always stay up to date on the latest news from Mimecast at the following site:
Or, if you think of something that you would like to see Mimecast do...let them know! Just post an idea to the Share Ideas area. Your fellow Mimecasters and Mimecast employees will be able to vote, and add comments to your idea.
See you on the Forums!