Barracuda redesigns Email Threat Scanner tool to improve user interface and experience

The Email Threat Scanner has always been an important presales tool for partners, and some new tweaks improve stickiness here as well.

Today, security vendor Barracuda is announcing a redesigned version of their Barracuda Email Threat Scanner. This tool is for Office 365 environments, and is provided free to partners, where its ability to show customers threats that have already made it past their email gateway makes it valuable as a pre-sales tool.

Barracuda just announced a redesigned version of another Office 365 product, Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, which involved a complete re-engineering to update a product that was originally designed in 2017 for the far greater demands presented by today’s Office 365. Barracuda Email Threat Scanner is even older, having been originally launched in 2016, but the changes required here were much less rigorous.

“We have been constantly evolving the Email Threat Scanner engine since 2016, so it now detects many more things,” said Mike Flouton, VP of Email Protection at Barracuda. “It’s drastically more effective now than it was five years ago. We never made an announcement in the past about these improvements to the engine, however.”

The major change now being made to the scanner is a complete user interface refresh for the dashboard.

“We got feedback about the changes that people wanted, and we saw a way to make the dashboard more useful, more engaging and more visually appealing,” Flouton indicated.

“The old dashboard provided access to great information, but was very utilitarian in design,” he noted. “It didn’t have a lot of visual elements, and you had to hunt for information on specific threats you were interested in.”

Flouton said that the changes were based on a large amount of research on user reaction and emotional attachment to different options.

“We honed in on things that we found created joy and engagement,” he indicated.

In addition to making it easier to find and access specific threats, the visuals of the dashboards were changed.

“We updated the color scheme to make it easier to understand,” Flouton pointed out.

Another enhancement is a new scan preview page, which lets users monitor their scan’s progress while the scan is running.

“The scans are comparatively short by industry standards, and are typically less than 24 hours, and measured in minutes or hours rather than days, but with the old one, you would have to wait till it was done before you saw what was happening,” Flouton said.

A major part of Barracuda Email Threat Scanner’s value to partners has always been as a pre-sales and lead generation tool. Each scan provides a report on attacks found inside the environment, down to specific mailboxes, as well as at-risk domains and employees. This helps organizations identify gaps in existing email protection and assess email security vulnerabilities.

This value is amplified because the numbers of threats found in these Office databases have always been large. In 2020, 4,550 organizations used Barracuda Email Threat Scanner to scan 2,600,531 unique mailboxes and found 2,029,413 unique attacks. On average, 512 attacks were found per organization, and one out of 7 mailboxes had at least one attack currently sitting inside, even if messages were scanned by an email gateway solution.

Flouton indicated that the functionality has been tweaked to make it provide even more value to partners.

“Partners have the ability to get a customized link to a specific scan to give their customers, and that will be associated on our back end with that partner,” he said. “We have designed it to make it as partner-friendly as possible. The capability was there before but the redesign has made it much slicker and it works better for partners.”

To assist with the lead generation, a 14-day free trial of Barracuda Sentinel can now be launched directly from the scanner.