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Ekco has become the first indigenous Irish Microsoft MSP to achieve all four Microsoft Security Specializations. These specializations establish Ekco as one of Ireland’s most trusted advisors for complex cloud and security scenarios.

More organisations are embracing cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure to accelerate their operations and facilitate secure remote work using Microsoft 365 services. But the increasingly digitised landscape corresponds with a heightened vulnerability to cyber threats. Businesses therefore need to have a partner with deep knowledge, extensive experience, and proven success in implementing robust security measures across cloud environments.

Steve MacNicholas, CEO of Ekco Ireland, said, “We’ve had a really successful year of collaboration with Microsoft, and this achievement is testament to the strength of our relationship. We’d like to thank Microsoft for all their guidance and support. A massive congratulations to our cyber security practice, a team of 175 people, which is the largest in Ireland. This team has put in many hours to help us achieve all four specializations. It’s an amazing feat that we are very proud of.”

Anne Sheehan and Steve MacNicholas
Anne Sheehan, General Manager at Microsoft Ireland and Steve MacNicholas, CEO of Ekco Ireland

Microsoft’s four security specializations cover core priorities for businesses – Identity and Access Management, Threat Protection, Information Protection and Governance, and Cloud Security. To attain a Microsoft Advanced Specialization, companies must fulfill several requirements, including undergoing third-party audits, securing customer references, demonstrating proficiency in relevant skill sets, and meeting precise performance benchmarks.

Anne Sheehan, General Manager at Microsoft Ireland, said, “Microsoft is pleased to celebrate Ekco’s achievement in becoming the first indigenous Irish partner to achieve all four Microsoft Security Specializations. With cyber attacks increasing in speed, intensity and sophistication, organisations in Ireland must use new technologies to provide end-to-end protection and ensure that security is factored into everything that they do. This is why security has been a massive focus for Ekco, and in the last year it has rapidly ramped up, not only its investment, but its resources, to expand and scale its security practice to support Irish customers in protecting their organisations, while using new and innovative solutions.”

Earlier this year, Ekco collaborated with Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in developing the Secure Configuration Framework for Microsoft Office 365, which helps organisations secure their Microsoft 365 environments to reduce business risk. Ekco was also awarded the Microsoft Ireland Rising Star Partner of the Year Award 2023 for Security, which recognises the partner who excels in providing innovative and unique customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

It has been another year of considerable growth for Ekco, with its staff complement increasing from 650 to 860 after the acquisitions of Irish MSP Radius and Bluecube in the UK. This has enabled the company to further expand its services and deepen its levels of expertise, ensuring its customers can maximise the benefits of the cloud in a secure way.

MacNicholas concluded, “At the end of the day, it’s about our people. We’re very proud of our team, who have shown such commitment to continually enhancing their skills. It means our customers can use Microsoft 365 to its full potential, and have everything they need to work efficiently and securely.”


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