Cloud Productivity and Security
First Alaskans Institute
Delivering cloud productivity and security for the First Alaskans Institute
The First Alaskans Institute (FAI) is a statewide Alaska Native nonprofit focused on advancing Alaska Native ways of life, ensuring Alaska Native peoples are involved in decision-making at all levels, and cultivating leadership from birth to Ancestor. They serve as a catalyst, convener and collaborator on issues impacting all Alaska Natives through hosting dialogues and gatherings on a diverse range of topics across the state. As a small organization with a dynamic scope of work, their values-driven commitment to serving their community is inherent throughout all they do.
To continue this mission while meeting modern demands for security and productivity, FAI made the decision to move to the cloud.
Prior to cloud migration, the First Alaskans Institute operations were reliant on an on-premises server running on an aged version of Windows. The only backup system was a hard drive running Windows Backup, which had no redundancy should the hard drive ever fail. A quarter of the team’s devices were no longer supported by Microsoft and patching was out of date – leaving FAI vulnerable to cyber-criminal activity.
The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened matters, as the organization struggled to stay productive remotely with poor connectivity and lack of access to important files. Leadership knew it was time to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud.
“The transition to ArcticCare 365 has been a tremendous benefit to our organization. Aside from hosting our network in the cloud which has made our work throughout the pandemic and now in this new hybrid workspace much more efficient, transitioning to Arctic IT was a very positive move. AIT has been a refreshing and affordable change. We have no regrets.”
FAI turned to Arctic IT as a trusted cloud solutions partner. For the first phase of cloud migration, Arctic IT moved their server to SharePoint Online, aligned patching to the latest updates, and updated their firewall to Meraki to avoid end-of-life on the existing legacy product. We also transitioned their licensing from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 to bolster their productivity and security in the cloud including
- Ability to co-edit Office documents simultaneously
- Workstation security components
- Backup capabilities via OneDrive to synchronize local files to the cloud
- Security policies set in the Microsoft Security & Compliance Center
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) to thwart identity attacks
For the second phase, FAI was onboarded to Arctic IT as an ArcticCare 365 Cloud Managed Services client. As part of theirsubscription to ArcticCare 365, FAI benefits from
- Quarterly audits of Microsoft 365 security and compliance standards
- Routine firewall updates and patches
- Azure Active Directory support
- Microsoft 365 license and tenant management
- Quarterly phish testing to keep employees vigilant
- Recurring training on Microsoft 365 and cybersecurity best practices
- Remote Tier 1 U.S.-based help desk (on call 24/7)
After decentralizing FAI’s IT infrastructure and moving operations entirely into the cloud, their team is now able to work productively and securely from anywhere in the modern hybrid workplace. SharePoint Online enables access to files that were otherwise inaccessible offsite, and the redundancy of the Microsoft cloud ensures business continuity should disaster ever strike. MFA and security policy settings in Microsoft 365 provide an added layer of protection for employee identities and company data.
Melissa Silugngataanit’sqaq Marton, Indigenous Operations & Innovations Director at FAI, concurs stating, “At the start of the pandemic, our entire team went working from home, our connection to our network was spotty and difficult and not accessible by our entire team. After the transition, our work is almost seamless, and the ability to collaboratively edit documents have made our processes so much more efficient.”
ArcticCare 365 provides FAI with predictable IT costs, faster response on support tickets, and a stronger security posture via regular updates, patching, and strategy sessions. The cloud operation specialists at Arctic IT fill in the role of IT team, so their leadership can focus on more strategic objectives.
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