Harwoods Group accelerates security performance with Mimecast AI-powered email protection for M365.

Harwoods Group

Pioneering world-class email security for M365

Harwoods at-a-glance:


Automotive Retail

Number of Users

800 endpoints
1,060 employees

Cloud Integrated Suite

    • Targeted Threat Protection
    • Secure File Send Service
    • Secure Email Channel
    • Advanced Support
Harwoods Statistics


Harwoods is a leading omni-channel automotive retailer group representing a wide range of premium manufacturers including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ineos, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, and Volvo. Family-owned for over 90 years, the expanding group currently operates over 25 sites across the south-east of England, with over 1,000 employees driving the business vision both digitally and across physical dealerships alongside accident repair and service centres. The group also provides authorised manufacturer servicing for BMW, MINI and MAN Truck commercial vehicles. Harwoods has invested significantly in digital transformation with cybersecurity key to the protection of the renowned brand and customer service.

“We have a strong heritage built on 90 years as a true customer-first business, with quality, our customer experience and reputation powering mobility solutions which every family can enjoy their adventures in; this is our ongoing vision, which must be protected in the digital age."

Paul Smith, Harwoods Business Support Director

Harwoods Dealership

Business Case

As a high profile expanding automotive group, Harwoods needs to ensure the digital safety of the trusted brand and its renowned customer experience. Continued investment in Mimecast Cloud Integrated solutions that monitor, evolve, and inform to protect against new and increasing cyber threats, is vital for risk management and the resilience of the group’s cyber posture.


Mimecast Cloud Integrated suite for M365 provides Harwoods with a trusted secondary layer protection for approximately 16 million emails exchanged per year. Sensitive interactions can be achieved securely, whilst robust archiving enables simplified email management at a granular employee level, with rapid and secure restore for compliance. Harwoods security posture is continuously adapted and reinforced using AI-driven Mimecast solutions that predict and respond to current and upcoming threats, providing peace of mind.


Increasingly widespread potential targets

At 345 million active users, Microsoft Office 365 (M365) commands a market share of 48%, with the UK second only to the US in terms of volume. The adoption of cloud productivity suites has been driven by the dramatic acceleration of digital transformation caused by the pandemic, which has generated increased risk due in some cases to quick migrations, as well as M365 itself being a target for cybercriminal activity.

Harwoods Group, with over 1,000 dedicated employees working across 25 sites, have been trailblazing the automotive retail sector through meticulous digital transformation, delivering a bespoke CRM and ecommerce website that works alongside a growing workforce to provide a true omni-channel experience. Working in partnership with strategic IT service consultancy Advantage Cloud Solutions, Harwoods understand the increased risk that comes with growth and a high-profile presence.

“As a Mimecast customer for over 7 years, Harwoods have continued to manage risk with resilient cybersecurity measures in place thanks to a proactive attitude and support of their security architecture working with the Advantage team. The Mimecast solution deserves its Gartner insight status as a market leader and is a perfect fit for Harwoods best-of-breed IT partner and vendor policy."

Dan Elson, Director at Advantage Cloud Solutions

Mimecast Cloud Integrated for Email Protection

Email exposure

Worldwide, email is the most heavily used method of business communication, and being the top attack vector, it demands the strongest possible protection. With approximately 16 million emails exchanged per year, Harwoods trust Mimecast as the must-have email security & resilience companion for M365, providing an AI-powered secondary cybersecurity layer for a robust security strategy.

Mimecast protection against phishing, impersonation, and other email threats provides outstanding security that evolves with the everchanging cyber landscape, backed up by active 24x7x365 support. Annually, approximately 800,000 potentially malicious emails that were destined for Harwoods employees’ inboxes are detected and intercepted by Mimecast.

Additionally, Harwoods benefit from Mimecast Secure Messaging and large file sending as a seamless user experience embedded within M365, ensuring protection of sensitive customer data and two-way secure communication.

Paul Smith, Harwoods Business Support Director says “we’ve been impressed by the unobtrusive nature of the Mimecast solution, with powerful tools seamlessly integrated into user workflows, complimented with background proactive protection to prevent, and inform. It’s always there, protecting, and with supportive awareness training, users are empowered to work to best practices, enabling protection and defence as a collective group, without it being taxing on productivity.”

Mimecast Cloud Integrated for Compliance

One-click Compliance

Mimecast secure archiving enables Harwoods Group to confidently manage email compliance, ensuring e-discovery and GDPR requests are handled efficiently in accordance with email retention policies.

“The Mimecast email archive solution is integral to our compliance policies, enabling the business to fulfil procedural needs with reassuring certainty. Quite simply, we don’t know what we would do without it."

Paul Smith, Harwoods Business Support Director

Users have access to their own archive with actions from within M365 promoting ‘a clean inbox is a productive inbox’ ethos, with admins able to fulfil business-wide discovery and restore as required.

Accelerating beyond the edge

Outside the email perimeter, Mimecast’s Brand Exploit Protect uses machine learning to predict, identify, and quickly remediate online threats, such as malicious domains that impersonate or replicate digital assets. Scanning in real-time, Mimecast provides a responsive policy beyond the capabilities of inhouse IT teams.

Together with email security and compliance, Mimecast Cloud Integrated suite for M365 empowers successful businesses like Harwoods Group to accelerate, harden, and evolve their security posture, with world-class efficacy protecting the brand, employees, and customers, whilst ensuring less onerous security workloads for IT teams.

“Mimecast integrates so seamlessly to protect our brand, employees, and customers 24/7, that you don’t realise just how good it is until you need it; whether for compliance or having reviewed the proactive activity shown in security response reports. It really does do exactly what it says on the tin, delivering security that frees up the IT Team to accelerate other strategic projects for the business.”

Paul Smith, Harwoods Business Support Director

IT Consultancy

Free 30 day Mimecast Trial

Time to pioneer world-class M365 email and collaboration security into your organisation

Administrators know that more than 90% of cyberattacks start with email. Get started with Mimecast Email Security, Cloud Integrated (CI) in under 5 minutes - free for 30 days!

  • Block email-based and Microsoft Teams threats with AI-powered detection
  • Get real-time intelligence on attacks
  • Configure your trial to monitor, or to react
  • Remediate with the click of a button
  • Try for all employees or select AD groups
  • Inspire a culture of awareness and launch phishing simulations

Trial Eligibility:
Organisation must be located in the United Kingdom and have Mail Exchange (MX) pointing to Microsoft. M365 Admin credentials are required to activate the trial.

Non-M365, O365/M365 hybrid, Google Suite environment?

Let's discuss highly configurable Cloud Gateway (CG) that interepts threats before they arrive.

  • Meet with a Mimecast Product Specialist and Advantage Business Consultant
  • Tailor your Mimecast Email and protection modular solution
  • Discover the CG unified single pane admin experience
  • Discuss fast and easy integration to other systems
  • Roadmap world-class email security efficacy
  • Experience fast deployment similar to Cloud Integrated


Start pioneering world-class email security

We consult, secure and support your organisation's entire ICT ecosystem.

We are a Managed Services Provider (MSP) delivering expert Discovery consulting, agile IT support, IT security and cybersolutions.

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