May 31, 2023
6 min read

KēSTA I.T. Uses Alcion to Safeguard Microsoft 365 Data against Malicious Intent

KēSTA I.T. Uses Alcion to Safeguard Microsoft 365 Data against Malicious Intent


Industry: Staffing and Recruiting


KēSTA I.T. (Keys-to-I.T.) is a premier technology staffing and solutions company in the technical recruiting, staffing, and consulting services industry. KēSTA I.T. specializes in contract, contract-to-hire, and permanent staffing services and statement of work-based outsourcing and provides technology and staffing solutions for varying sizes of businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies.

Ryan Elliott, the VP of Client Solutions at KēSTA I.T., has built his career in staff augmentation. He oversees 30 IT consultants, account management, and business support personnel. Prior to KēSTA I.T., Ryan worked with the largest IT staffing company in the United States supporting the government services, healthcare, and financial services verticals. This allowed Ryan to work with organizations like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and many State and Federal government entities. At KēSTA I.T., Ryan manages several responsibilities including serving as the primary Microsoft 365 administrator.

“Preventing downtime due to malicious intent has been top-of-mind for us. Alcion has allowed us to protect our critical business data from both potential internal threats and external cyber-threats such as malware and ransomware.”


The Challenge

The primary motivator behind KēSTA I.T. adopting a Microsoft 365 backup solution was the need to protect the business and their customer data against malicious intent, whether it be from potentially disgruntled insiders or from external attackers deploying malware or ransomware. In addition, being able to satisfy data compliance requests from large customers had also started becoming a priority. Before adopting Alcion, KēSTA I.T. was sold a backup solution by their hosting provider. This backup solution, provided as a SaaS offering, proved to be complex to implement and administer. In fact, after a few months of operation, they discovered backups had never actually been run, and the Microsoft 365 environment was vulnerable to potential data loss. They also discovered the previous backup solution only backed up email and not data stored in SharePoint or OneDrive. The solution also had very few security features that tackled cyber threats.

Securing Microsoft 365 Data Protection with Alcion

Alcion, designed from the ground up for Microsoft 365 administrators at all skill levels, was easy to get up and running, and onboarding the entire KēSTA I.T. tenant took just a few minutes. With a modern UI and clean user experience allowed KēSTA I.T. to quickly confirm what data was being protected and provided visibility into how data changed in their environment. The ability to see backups being reliably invoked multiple times a day gave Ryan peace of mind, and Alcion’s breadth of security-oriented features addressed his top concern around protecting against malicious threats.

In terms of functionality, Ryan observed the Alcion system to be scalable, and the functionality to be agreat fit for their growing organization. What started off as an Exchange protection use case, quickly expanded into protecting OneDrive and SharePoint, and the overall feature set was a great fit with KēSTA I.T.’s data protection requirements.

Key Benefits

Threat Protection

Given the high value of their data stored in Microsoft 365, threat protection provided by a data protection solution was the most important requirement for KēSTA I.T. Alcion’s comprehensive backup policies, malware removal from backups, and ransomware detection capabilities provided peace of mind against threats, both internal and external.

Intelligent Backups

Alcion, with multiple daily backups that adjust to user activity, provided Ryan with confidence that his data was being protected. While it was a false alarm, a recent scare with the possibility of data loss for an employee ended up being a low-stress event, because it was easy to verify the most recent data was already backed up by Alcion.

Ease of Use

Given Alcion’s simplified design approach, Ryan was able to complete setup and start protecting data within minutes without needing technical support or documentation. A clean modern UI allowed him to easily create backups, view activity, and perform restores.

Breadth of Functionality

While the Alcion deployment started off as an email protection use case, protecting data beyond just email quickly became critical to KēSTA I.T. as the usage of other Microsoft 365 products, including SharePoint and OneDrive, was quickly growing. Alcion’s ability to support other Microsoft services as well as the ability to seamlessly scale with increasing amounts of data was critical for KēSTA I.T.

No Operational Pain

Steady-state operation had no overhead for KēSTA I.T. employees as Alcion took care of all operational issues including successfully and transparently redriving backup failures in case of transient outages or upstream throttling of Microsoft APIs.

No Training Required

While tasked with administering Microsoft 365, Ryan does not have a deep IT background. Alcion’s platform, designed with both part-time IT generalists and professional backup administrators in mind, allowed Ryan to successfully onboard and protect the entire organization without requiring any training.