Eurotours boosts email security and productivity with automated encryption

COC IT-Services implements easy-to-use, flexible IBM Lotus Protector

Published on 14 Sep 2011

Validated on 14 Jan 2014

"The collaboration with COC IT-Services and IBM was very professional and we were actually surprised that it is so simple to operate a reliable and secure email solution." - Horst Glasauer, CIO, Eurotours International

Customer:
Eurotours

Industry:
Travel & Transportation

Deployment country:
Austria

Solution:
Enabling Business Flexibility, Optimizing IT

IBM Business Partner:
COC IT Services

Overview

Eurotours International, the largest incoming travel agency and one of the largest tour operators in direct sales in Central Europe, is headquartered in Kitzbühel, Austria. The company employs more than 270 people and primarily markets Central European tourist offers all over the world. The services provided cover all forms of organised travel: from individual travel arrangements in both resort destinations and cities to group travel, incentives and conventions. In 2010 the company handled a total of 1.2 million passengers and generated a turnover of €234.7 million.

Business need:
Eurotours, one of the largest tourist agencies in central Europe, needed to implement an easy-to-use and reliable email encryption solution to meet the high security requirements of its most important customers and business partners. The solution also had to integrate well with Eurotours’ IBM® Lotus® Notes® and Domino® environment.

Solution:
Working with IBM Business Partner COC IT-Services and IBM, Eurotours implemented IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption in a virtualised environment. The encryption solution enables Eurotours’ employees to communicate securely with all customers and business partners without the need to change their ways of working or to learn new software.

Benefits:
Integrates encryption with the existing email solution, making it easy to communicate securely. Enables secure communication with all customers and partners regardless of their choice of encryption solution. Improves security management by enabling central administration of encryption policies.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, please click here.

Eurotours International, the largest incoming travel agency and one of the largest tour operators in direct sales in Central Europe, is headquartered in Kitzbühel, Austria. The company employs more than 270 people and primarily markets Central European tourist offers all over the world. The services provided cover all forms of organised travel: from individual travel arrangements in both resort destinations and cities to group travel, incentives and conventions. In 2010 the company handled a total of 1.2 million passengers and generated a turnover of €234.7 million.

Many of Eurotours’ business partners have high security requirements for email communications, so the company needed to implement an encryption solution. It was looking for a product that could integrate with its IBM Lotus Notes and Domino environment and allow secure communication between individual users and email gateways. Furthermore, Eurotours wanted the solution to be seamless so that its users would be able to use the email system as usual without having to worry about encryption settings or technical details.

Advanced technology for improved security
As Eurotours’ preferred IT service providers, IBM Business Partner COC IT-Services and IBM worked with the in-house team to find a solution that could meet the security and usability requirements. Following a review of various options, the team selected IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption.

Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption automatically creates and maintains a self-managing security architecture by monitoring users and their email traffic. The solution encrypts, decrypts, signs, and verifies messages automatically, providing strong security through flexible policies. It also scans incoming mails for encryption keys, then connects to various public key servers to obtain the public keys it needs to decrypt received messages and verify the signatures.

Quick implementation and seamless integration
COC IT-Services and IBM assisted with the installation of the Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption solution and provided a five-day workshop for Eurotours’ staff. Over the course of a working week, all the knowledge needed to operate the solution was transferred to the Eurotours’ IT team, which can now manage and maintain the solution without external support.

“Everyday administration of the solution is very easy,” says Horst Glasauer, CIO at Eurotours. “We were actually surprised that it is so simple to operate a reliable and secure email solution.”

“The collaboration with COC IT-Services and IBM was very professional; they are highly competent and will bring in additional specialists as needed to ensure that issues are resolved quickly. The whole project team showed a good team spirit and worked in a very goal-oriented way to make this project a quick success.”

IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption runs as a virtualised software appliance built on Linux® technology. At Eurotours it is installed on VMware ESX running on an IBM System x® server. The solution has been integrated with the company’s LDAP directory service and with the IBM Lotus Notes email solution, which ensures that all users can easily take advantage of the encryption features without any need for additional training.

During the implementation, the ‘learn mode’ feature was used to ensure a smooth transition. This feature allowed administrators to see how Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption would handle the data stream before it was actually activated and running in the production landscape.

Easy-to-use and secure
After only one month of implementation, the Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption solution has already processed 345,000 emails, including almost 30,000 encrypted emails. Since the solution is fully automated, it is able to process and encrypt each message according to centrally configured policies, ensuring appropriate security levels for the intended recipient. With this transparent encryption solution, workflows for Eurotours’ employees were made easier and faster, thereby increasing the productivity of the company.

The solution also makes it easy for customers and partners to encrypt the emails they send to Eurotours staff. As the encryption solution builds on public key cryptography algorithms, it can both request public keys from key repositories and expose the public keys of its users to the internet. Customers and partners can then use these keys to send encrypted mails to Eurotours users.

The solution also offers customers who receive encrypted emails a choice on how they want to receive encrypted emails in future. The options offered by the solution start with plain PGP and S/MIME, but also include Mail Encryption Web Messenger (which allows secure access through an encrypted web portal) and PDF Messenger (where the actual mail content is sent as an encrypted PDF document). These options ensure end-to-end encryption of the communication no matter what email security technologies customers or partners use.

If a customer or partner does not have an encryption solution of their own, Eurotours’ Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption license allows them to download customised encryption and decryption client software. This enables automated generation of private and public keys on Eurotours’ Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption Server, and provides secure transfer of the private key to the customer.

“So far customers’ reactions have been overwhelmingly positive,” says Horst Glasauer. “With this solution we have increased user and customer satisfaction while also improving security.”

The high degree of flexibility and ease-of-use of the software has convinced Eurotours that Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption is the right solution. A further major advantage is that all encryption keys are based on a master encryption key, which enables user keys to be generated automatically without additional annual costs for user certificates.

Growing importance of secure messaging
As more and more information is exchanged electronically, the security of electronic communication will become more important.

“With this implementation we have invested in the future of secure communication,” concludes Horst Glasauer. “Requirements from customers, business partners and regulators will increase and demand for encrypted communication will increase massively. With this solution we are ready for any new regulations and requirements.”

Components

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
System x

Software:
Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption, IBM Notes, IBM Domino

Legal Information

Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Deutschland GmbH71137 EhningenDeutschlandibm.com/de IBM ÖsterreichObere Donaustrasse 951020 Wienibm.com/at IBM SchweizVulkanstrasse 1068010 Zürichibm.com/ch Produced in Austria August 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com Lotus, Lotus Notes, Domino and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. IBM and COC IT-Services are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor COC IT-Services makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.

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