The Edinburg Center found it challenging to maintain a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) uptime with a small IT team with limited resources due to the rigors on ongoing maintenance (patching, etc.) required in their on-premise IT investments. Additionally, there was the constant threat of being hit by a Zero Day vulnerability or other IT risk and losing one of the critical systems. Business users needed a solution that was secure, easy to manage and maintain and, had a minimal impact on their day-to-day operations.
Netwoven proposed the rollout of Microsoft 365 to the entire organization, including the Exchange workload and Azure AD as their primary Identity Provider (IdP). This addressed the main concern of cyber-resiliency while setting the company up for a successful rollout of other workloads.
The Edinburg Center has realized these main benefits from their investment in Microsoft 365, as implemented by Netwoven:
The advantages of migrating to the cloud include gains in productivity, security, and business continuity. Productivity gains were mainly realized from migrating Exchange 2016 to Exchange Online. User mailboxes increased from 2GB to 50GB, saving them time from archiving and looking for archived email. This also allowed users to access email remotely from anywhere, a big boost to productivity and user satisfaction. The team leveraged out-of-the-box Microsoft tools which helped control the budget and kept disruption to users at a minimum.
The security improvements were realized immediately using standard Azure Active Directory (AAD) features. The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for administrators helped secure the topmost profile accounts, while conditional access policies were used to block insecure authentication.
These two AAD features reduced the attack surface of The Edinburg Center’s cloud infrastructure. A recent study from Microsoft found that 99% of accounts compromised using basic single-factor passwords. Moving to Exchange Online also reduced the vulnerability of Zero Day emails, which continue to plague on-premise Exchange implementations.
Another beneficial outcome of the migration is improved business continuity. With the hybrid cloud architecture chosen for this project, the dependencies of on-premise servers and services are minimal. Email, Identity, and access control lists (ACLs) are now stored in the Microsoft 365 cloud, which allows the organization to be offline for a period without affecting the users’ use of email and productivity tools.