Migrating to the Cloud using Microsoft 365 & Azure Virtual Desktop

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Citizens Advice Bureau

  • Charity

  • Kent

Background

Citizens Advice Medway is one of over 300 local level Citizens Advice centres across England and Wales, and a member of the national charity Citizens Advice, based in London.

The charity was using unsupported Microsoft Server operating systems that left them vulnerable to cyberattacks. It was paramount that a new solution was implemented to reduce the risk of downtime and remediate the risks of an attack.

Project Description

The charity was utilising unsupported end-of-life operating systems that increased the risk of hackers gaining access to sensitive data. Furthermore, an on-premise Exchange Server was used for emails.

To address the risks Impreza IT migrated all services to Microsoft 365 and Azure, allowing the customer to adopt a cloud-first approach. Initially, emails were migrated to Exchange Online providing highly available emails and improved access from mobile devices.

As part of migrating to Exchange Online Microsoft Defender for Office 365 was configured. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 ensured the charity was protected from potential threats which could be delivered by email (the most common platform for cyber-attacks). The solution utilised AI based machine-learning and various features to detect and quarantine malicious emails with potentially malicious links and attachments.

Following this, company data was migrated data to SharePoint and OneDrive to allow simple and secure remote access. The charity also utilised Sage for which there was not a cloud option available. Impreza IT therefore migrated Sage to Azure and granted access to users via Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Based on Windows 10 operating system, the AVD solution allowed users to access Sage via a remote app from their local desktop, therefore removing the requirement to switch between windows as with a traditional RDS (Remote Desktop Services) solution.

Finally, the functions of the local server’s Domain Controller were migrated to the cloud using Azure Active Directory. In addition to managing authentication Impreza IT configured additional security features such as multi-factor authentication, document classification and data loss prevention policies.

The solution allowed the on-premise server to be removed, and for the charity to work securely from any location.

Project Benefits

  • Simplified and secured access to company data from any device or location
  • Ensured staff, volunteers and customers were safeguarded from potential data breaches
  • Greatly improved email protection against phishing and malware
  • Improved collaborative working by enabling co-authoring

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ISO 9001/2015
Cyber essentials plus
ISO/IEC 27001