Local governments, like the City of Canada Bay Council,
are the coalface for the community. What they do, or don't do,
affects everyone in the local area. For the City of Canada Bay
Council, issues including community safety, asset management,
protection of the environment, community services, maintaining
parks, as well as monitoring and controlling the type and quality
of developments in the city are key focus areas.
Behind the scenes, the council has an IT security and control
architecture that protects the large volumes of information
relating to the management of these issues. The council has
invested in comprehensive security from Sophos that stops hackers,
malware authors, spammers and others from gaining access to the
large volumes of financial, personal and other important
information stored on its email, servers, PCs and laptops.
The City of Canada Bay Council in Sydney's inner west covers 20
square kilometres and is one of the fastest growing local
government areas in Australia, as land along the banks of the
Parramatta River is progressively reclaimed for housing development
and new residents are attracted by the area's parkland character
and extensive leisure facilities.
The council has been a long time and very satisfied user of
Sophos's anti-virus technology. In 2003, it first integrated
SAV Interface on its email gateway. Sophos was recommended to
the council based on a number of factors, not least being that one
of the amalgamated authorities from which City of Canada Bay
Council was created in 2000 was already a Sophos user and reported
it to be reliable and highly effective.
The council was also impressed with Sophos's extensive
experience in protecting local government organisations, both in
Australia and around the world.
In 2007, the council made the decision to extend its use of
Sophos's security solutions and has now fully deployed Sophos
Endpoint Security and Control across every data server, PC and
laptop used by its employees.
The same high levels of protection are also afforded to the more
than 50 internet-enabled computers used by members of the local
community at the council's three public libraries.
Additionally, Sophos protects the server for the 40 Blackberry
handhelds used by council employees while they're on the move. In
total, Sophos now protects more than 250 endpoint computers or
mobile devices, as well as its email gateway.
While confidentiality in communications is obviously important
for any local government authority, in the case of City of Canada
Bay - with its high volumes of high value developments underway and
the complex planning approvals and related email traffic involved -
absolute security is critical.
A seasoned information systems manager and a realist, Peter Beck
says, "These days, while there is not a lot of difference between
many security products, Sophos gives us scanning functionality that
simply isn't available in other software. Sophos was also obviously
faster, better and easier to use. Since May, it has given us a
massive administrative benefit.
"Sophos works well. If you open up any file or web page with a
virus in it, the software blocks it before it can run and advises
you instantly. So, we rely heavily on Sophos and it hasn't let us
Pragmatic in his views about the relative merits of different
hardware and software offerings, Peter Beck doesn't hide his
enthusiasm when he talks about Sophos customer support. He explains
"Not long after we had switched to Sophos, we had a project where I
needed to undertake a complete rebuild of our anti-malware
environment at a time when neither of my two technicians was on
"The rebuild involved transitioning the Sophos enterprise
endpoint security software to new hardware but one of my people was
away on six weeks' annual leave and the other was off sick for the
three days of the rebuild. I was able to do the basic install but I
needed expert help beyond that point.
"That help was provided by phone and the Sophos support people
were just fantastic. I was the only person on site and they were
very patient with me. Not just patient, either. Those people really
know their product. We had the enterprise anti-malware environment
restored in less than two hours and the whole exercise was
completed inside of two days, all without leaving any of our people
unprotected at any stage."
Sophos provides its customers with around-the-clock help from
its Asia Pacific technical support and SophosLabs threat analysis
centres, both located in North Sydney and in four other locations
globally. Sophos's award-winning technical support services are
delivered live through one on one interactions via phone and
Beck said "I have had other experiences of getting things
up-and-running in a hurry and it isn't always that easy. I sent an
email to Sophos's headquarters to say that the support staff had
worked tirelessly and had been just incredible."
While setting up the Sophos solution provided the council with a
very positive experience, Peter Beck also cites the ongoing
management of the Sophos deployment as an impressive experience.
The council uses Enterprise Console, located on a single PC, to
manage the hundreds of Sophos installations attached to the
According to Beck, this is one area where the council has
derived significant benefit, notably through reducing its
administrative overheads related to supporting its security
"With Sophos we have a single point of control over every
server, PC and laptop running Sophos. This delivers a great
advantage to the council and helps us focus our resources on
projects that further enhance the IT experience for our staff and