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Alternative Experts Secures Office 365 with Avanan

Posted by Steven Toole on January 10, 2017

Protection Against Insider Threats

Jeff Madsen, CTO of, ALEX (Alternative Experts, LLC) faced a November 30, 2016 deadline to comply with Executive Order 13587 from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s National Insider Threat Policy – which requires federal contractors to establish a program to detect, deter and mitigate insider threats.

To protect the company’s Office 365 email and OneDrive file sharing Jeff knew he needed protection beyond Microsoft’s native security capabilities. Specifically, he was looking to protect his users’ mailboxes from malware, ransomware, phishing, and compromised credentials; and for OneDrive, he needed a way to ensure that sensitive information wasn’t being used inappropriately by his employees or getting leaked externally.

Originally, Jeff looked at Microsoft’s own Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), but it failed to detect the zero-day malware he tested it with. Among other concerns,

  • it offered no malware protection for OneDrive,
  • the data leakage policies were very basic and were not compatible with the his current DLP tools,
  • most of the malware he was seeing this year was bypassing ATP, reaching his users’ inboxes.


Jeff deployed the Avanan Cloud Security Platform in October 2016. With his deadline nearing, he was thrilled to find that within minutes he was able to implement his choice of malware protection, anti-phishing and data leakage prevention, all from a variety of top security tools. “The Avanan platform already served me with several tools for each one of my security gaps, all preconfigured, vetted out, and easily enabled. Not needing to spend time on individual evaluations but rather testing, buying and using everything from one place, was beyond anything I’ve seen before.”

Within the first 15 minutes, Jeff deployed the following security layers to protect ALEX Office 365:

  • Check Point Antivirus and Malware Sandboxing
  • Solebit Predictive Malware Protection
  • Cyren Anti-Phishing
  • Global Velocity Data Leakage Prevention

“I liked the Avanan platform, and I also liked the price, which fit nicely into our budget,” Jeff said


“Since using the Avanan cloud security platform, I’ve been able to discover and prevent some security issues that I didn’t even know were happening before.” Jeff noted. “More importantly, the issues are being remediated automatically by Avanan. Even when I’m getting notifications of breach attempts every day, I no longer have to panic. It’s been working great and I’m very happy with Avanan. I plan to extend it to additional SaaS we’re implementing in the near future.”

About ALEX Alternative Experts

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Chantilly, VA, ALEX Alternative Experts, LLC (ALEX) provides technical, logistical and management services for both government and commercial organizations. Their core service offerings include science, technology & engineering, facilities management, logistics and operations, professional services, and staff augmentation. It was one of Washington Business Journal's Fastest 50 Growing Companies from 2012 to 2014.

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