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How does working with an MSSP improve your IT security?

Jose Pinos

Your company’s data and IP are crucial to its success. Breaches and hacks can quickly damage business valuations and professional reputations, making the business case for enhanced IT network security clear.

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your IT security, there are different methods to choose from. Unfortunately, the once-favoured perimeter-based approach is obsolete in today’s cloud-first working environments. Growing organisations must find ways to safeguard employee-owned devices and disparate endpoints from hacks without sacrificing the flexible benefits of cloud platforms.

In this article, we’ll examine how Oxford Science Enterprises strengthened their network security using an Azure managed services provider and how the same approach stands to benefit your organisation, too. You can harness a mature Zero Trust model based on the ‘never trust, always verify’ principle and protect your data with leading security tools. Read on to find out more.

The challenge: Establishing IT network security and compliance

Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) is a venture capital firm.  It connects Oxford academics using cutting edge research with investors keen to find commercial opportunities in the innovations that come out of Oxford University, many of which seek to resolve major global challenges like sustainable food, energy and breakthrough science such as healthcare and vaccine development.

Given the nature of managing innovative IP assets on global issues, OSE is a significant target for hacks. As such, comprehensive IT network security is fundamental to their existence and long-term organisational viability.

In the last two years, OSE underwent rapid growth and required an IT security overhaul. Any new network systems had to safeguard IP and ensure ongoing compliance with security patches and legacy devices. At the same time, it was essential that the new Azure solution did not impede department collaboration or user adoption among research staff.

The solution: Comprehensive Azure services

Atech has a long-standing relationship with OSE, where we advise on and implement best-in-class security and operational technologies. We modernised their IT systems during their growth period by migrating on-premises digital assets to a new Azure solution.

We identified an opportunity to establish stronger security protections aligned with OSE’s newfound organisational size and vulnerability during this project. Our process always begins with a comprehensive audit of the current environment and network. From here, we provide a roadmap towards a defined end-state design.

However, our existing familiarity with OSE’s infrastructure, people and operations meant that we held deep insight into their long-term IT network security requirements. We implemented a range of additional Azure services on top of the newly established Azure landing zone. Our approach allowed the new IT security tools to scale easily while remaining flexible with emerging future requirements.

The Azure solutions we implemented included:

  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to replace an existing antivirus software and offer better integration with the wider Microsoft stack.
  • Defender for Office 365 to protect against phishing attacks and support user awareness of cyberthreats.
  • Microsoft Sentinel, an AI SIEM tool monitoring internal and external network threats.
  • Full volume device encryption technologies like Bitlocker for Windows and FileVault for Mac OS.
  • Data loss prevention technologies to prevent unauthorised data sharing.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication for enhanced identity management.
  • Conditional permissions to access, download and share data.

The outcome: Robust IT security and visibility

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and Atech is committed to helping our clients safeguard their data via Azure services and solutions.

In utilising Atech as their managed security services partner, OSE has gained various benefits that single-feature IT security tools lack. These include:

  • Total visibility: OSE has a real-time record of data access attempts across their network, and which steps their IT security tools have taken to prevent breaches and data leaks. This transparency provides IT managers with insight into evolving cybersecurity requirements.
  • Secure sharing: Intelligent access permissions and user authentication mean OSE avoids data breaches and unauthorised file sharing. The permission framework is flexible, meaning rules can grow with the organisation.
  • Provable compliance: OSE receives accessible summaries of network vulnerabilities that can be shared with the management team and investors to demonstrate the company’s latest security compliance.
  • Increased user awareness: Simulated phishing attacks and continuous user support have reinforced day to day IT security best practices, creating an organisation-wide buffer against cyberthreats.
  • Smarter ways of working: The new IT security suite has emboldened new working patterns across OSE, including remote working and third-party collaborations — providing enhanced organisational flexibility.

Give your business full-scale security using an Azure managed services partner

IT security is a dynamic arena. Azure managed services providers offer ways to protect your business with the latest network security tools at affordable rates. Unlike single-feature solutions like email firewalls or antivirus software, managed services partners like Atech offer a comprehensive and customisable suite of Azure solutions and services. We enable mid-market organisations to implement enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions to secure their business’ growth.

You can deploy an integrated and seamless IT network security portfolio to shield your business from cyber threats well into the future. Furthermore, managed services partners can maintain your cloud environment to give you peace of mind as well as productivity gains, providing you with extensive organisation-wide benefits.

Access expert IT network security with Atech

Atech is a nine-time Gold Microsoft partner — one of the few in the market — and a leading provider of managed security across cloud platforms and devices.

With Microsoft Gold Partner accreditation in Security and over 10,000 servers migrated to or refactored in Azure, we’re a highly experienced Azure managed services provider for mid-market firms. We can help you identify gaps in your security infrastructure and deploy AI tools to safeguard your organisation with the strongest protections.

Get in touch to learn more about our expertise and services in Microsoft technologies and access expert IT security support for long-term growth.