Case Study

Virtru Secures Client Communications for Essence

“Clients appreciate the steps we’re taking to protect communication. They recognize Virtru’s encryption and know they can communicate freely.”

Colin McCarthy, Associate IT Director at Essence

Essence is a global digital advertising agency, pioneering the use of technology and analytics to create valuable, relevant, and trustworthy digital advertising for major international corporations. From London to Singapore, Essence connects brands and their big ideas with consumers across the globe.

We spoke with Colin McCarthy, Associate Director of IT at Essence, to learn why he and his team quickly realized they needed email encryption after seeing Virtru in action. With Virtru, Essence was able to:

  • Protect client communications with high-profile clients, such as Google, Walgreens, and Netflix.
  • Simplify administrative workflows through flexible access controls and seamless integration.
  • Create a trusting and open environment that fosters free-flowing creativity and collaboration.

A Risk Not Worth Taking

Colin McCarthy wasn’t looking for an email encryption service. But after watching a Virtru demo at a tech meetup in New York, McCarthy realized Virtru would solve a problem he didn’t even know Essence had. His company needed email encryption—and they needed it as soon as possible. “After you click ‘send,’ your emails travel through so many different domains. With the increase of cybercriminals targeting businesses, we needed our emails to be totally secure,” McCarthy says. “If our emails were ever hacked, our clients’ information would also be put at risk, and that’s a risk we cannot take.”

Encryption and Control For Everyone

After trying Virtru, the email encryption solution was so easy and effective that McCarthy and his team didn’t even consider another option. “Virtru sits within your email browser and works seamlessly with Gmail and Google Apps,” he says. “You don’t have to install anything else. It’s the simplest solution to choose.”

Virtru was also easy to deploy to all of Essence’s global employees. Thanks to Virtru’s simple onboarding materials, users picked up the software without any training. In fact, of the 70 employees who first tried Virtru, the IT team only received a couple of questions— most of which came from users who were surprised how easy it was. “Mostly, people were sending us tests to see if Virtru was working—and it was, they just couldn’t tell,” says McCarthy. “You don’t even realize you’re using it because it’s so seamless. Just install the extension onto your account, and off you go.” Since introducing Virtru across the entire company, McCarthy has heard zero complaints or reports of workflow interference. What’s more, McCarthy explains that Virtru has made many administrative tasks easier.

“Virtru is an ideal way to send account credentials, usernames, passwords, health info, and financial documents—anything of an extremely confidential nature.”

Essence enjoys Virtru because of its:

  • Ease of use: Virtru operates within a user’s inbox, so there’s no extra software to install or staff training required.
  • Flexible controls: Virtru can automatically encrypt emails containing passwords and confidential codes, but administrators can also allow users to encrypt only when they need to, which makes the product more easily adoptable.
  • Enhanced communication: Virtru secures anything shared with clients, and that creates a culture of trust that allows ideas to flourish openly.

Boosting Creativity with Better Security

According to McCarthy, Virtru has had a positive influence on business by giving senders ultimate control in what information they share. One of his favorite Virtru features is the ability to revoke any message or file—even after already being accessed by the recipient. He also noted that employees frequently use Virtru’s disable forwarding function to ensure that confidential details are not passed along to competitors or other unauthorized parties. These control capabilities provide his security team some much-needed assurance across Essence’s business.

“Of course, you want to be sure that sensitive conversations between your CEO and the financial director happen behind closed doors,” McCarthy notes. “But we also want to protect offers going out to new staff and clients and ensure the information is only received by the right person.” As well as taking data security seriously, Essence aims to create a trusting and open environment that fosters free-flowing creativity and collaboration. The agency operates a “one-team approach” with clients that encourages constant communication, and customers value Virtru’s role in facilitating these often sensitive conversations.