Case Study - Horizon Energy Group

Horizon Energy Group Office 365 Security Audit Service

About Horizon Energy Group
Horizon Energy Group is proud of its strong roots in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, being 100% locally owned by the Eastern Bay Energy Trust. Aside from serving the regions communities as the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s energy distribution company, the organisation has diversified its offerings by stepping outside the region to identify key complementary businesses to the existing network operations, allowing it to be more flexible and versatile.

Some of the group’s companies and services include:
Horizon Networks – owns and manages an 8000km electricity distribution network
Electinet – a power, electrical and data contractor
CoolLogic – industrial and commercial refrigeration suppliers
Aquaheat – a specialist supplier and installer of HVAC and mechanical services

Background
Horizon Energy Group (HEG) had been using Office 365 in part since acquiring the Aquaheat business over 6 years ago. Recently 80% of the people employed by the group had migrated from an on premise solution to the Office 365 service. HEG also were starting to host some infrastructure in the Cloud and utilise a cloud based Software as a Service ERP solution.

Challenges
Although Office 365 had been used by part of the group for some time the recent migration of additional business units to Office 365 was a catalyst for HEG to review its risk and exposure. ”As we were growing the use of Office 365 in the group, we wanted to make sure that the security configuration options were as they should be to ensure that when we started rolling it out fully that we put our best foot forward.", says Kiran Watkins, General Manager Commercial and Technology. HEG didn’t have the required expertise in house to undertake a thorough and objective assessment.

Solution
HEG had previously engaged Kaon Security for its security expertise. The organisations met and discussed HEG’s cloud migration plan and future requirements. Kaon Security provided an overview of their deep dive Office 365 Security Audit Service which is delivered on a fixed price basis and commenced with the exercise.

Results
After completing the audit exercise a comprehensive report was prepared for review by the team at HEG.

The contents included:

  • An Executive Summary of the 365 environment review, with a risk analysis commentary and security recommendations.
  • A detailed “Key Observations” section for the CIO and IT Manager covering the security findings, with a risk analysis commentary and next steps for remediation.

Kiran comments, “Whilst we had Office 365 in the business for quite some time it had never really been closely looked at. I was very pleased with the level of detail and surprised by the findings. We hadn’t identified many of the gaps that were identified in the report. Overall, we found the exercise was good value for money. The consultancy process was very efficient. The outcomes, learnings and follow up from Kaon Security meant we are very happy with the end result”.

Future
With a better understanding of their security and risk posture the HEG team plan to increase their adoption of cloud based technology to address future business requirements.

“Collectively our team now have a better understanding of the Office 365 configuration and security considerations, to the point that we are comfortable to progress more quickly and start migrating more and more business units within the group. Each of those units are now following the configuration guidance that we needed. Effectively, through this exercise we have upskilled the whole team”, says Kiran.

HEG found a number of outcomes from the initial engagement which have proved very useful. “In summary, this engagement and service to ensure our cloud transition was on the right path is just the start for the organisation. We have derived a lot of follow on value from our interaction with Kaon Security”.

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