Sophos security "sea change" for Port Stephens Council

November 13, 2007 Sophos Press Release

Port Stephens Council
Port Stephens Council is protecting its computer systems with solutions from Sophos.

IT security and control firm Sophos has announced that Port Stephens Council in New South Wales, Australia has completed the first stage of a major security "sea change" IT project. During the first stage, the Council deployed Sophos's comprehensive appliance solutions to protect its web and email gateways from security threats.

The second stage of the project, now underway, will see the Council deploy Sophos's Endpoint Security and Control solution on every PC, server and laptop used by the organisation, replacing its existing anti-malware solution.

Brad Tighe, IT Technical Team Leader for Port Stephens Council, said, "With the Council moving increasingly to online channels, it is vital we have the most effective security measures in place to ensure the personal and financial information held on behalf of our residents and employees is fully protected at all times."

"Protecting our users against identity fraud and malware attacks hosted by infected websites has emerged as one of the biggest challenges facing local government organisations in recent times. We wanted to get ahead of the game by deploying a proxy security appliance which would help us reduce the level of spam getting through to our users, while also helping us to control and monitor web activity," continued Tighe. "After reviewing a number of competitive products, we decided that Sophos's web and email security appliances provided us with the best protection and, importantly, would improve the reliability and performance of our computer network."

Sophos's WS1000 web security appliance, which auto-blocks malware hosted by infected websites, now protects any computer that connects to the internet via the council's network. This includes all 400 Council employees as well as members of the local community who use the computers hosted at local libraries and Council's chambers.

The Council has also deployed Sophos's powerful ES1000 email security appliance solution, to block spam, phish emails, malware and potentially unwanted applications from entering its network.

"Once we made the decision to go with Sophos, we had the web and email security components up and running within one day. And, while Sophos's technical support team made every effort to be hands-on to help us with the deployment, we found their system so easy to setup and configure that we'd completed the project before we had the chance to take their calls," explained Tighe.

Since deploying Sophos's security appliances, employees at Port Stephens Council have reported a considerable drop in the number of spam emails they receive. The Council's IT support team has also experienced a reduction in the amount of time they were required to spend on security and internet-related calls from their staff.

According to Tighe, the next stage is to upgrade the Council's protection on endpoint computers with a comprehensive solution that can identify and protect against all known and unknown types of malware, as well as any applications deemed unsuitable by the Council for use on its networks.

"Given the great success we've had with Sophos, we're now getting ready to deploy their endpoint solution across our servers, PCs and laptops, to make sure we have all our bases covered," said Tighe.

Sophos Endpoint Security and Control will provide additional protection against viruses, spyware, adware and hackers and enable the Port Stephens Council's IT staff to enforce computer security and control policies across all of its computers from a single console.

"While local government organisations typically manage extensive volumes of financial and personal information on behalf of their residents and local businesses, they often face resource challenges to ensure this information is fully protected at all times," said Rob Forsyth, Managing Director for Sophos Asia Pacific. "For Port Stephens Council, the Sophos web and email security appliances provide a perfect fit. They ensure comprehensive protection around the clock, while requiring very little management. With the deployment of Sophos's solutions which require only minimal oversight, it is clear that the Council is taking a very active role in ensuring that its stakeholders are fully protected, while freeing up resources to focus on providing more services to its local constituents."