At the heart of every local government is an IT infrastructure comprised of systems that deliver critical services to residents including recordkeeping, financial management and online bill payment. Many of these IT infrastructures are under attack as local governments are besieged by a barrage of cybercrimes that put their data at risk. If ransomware is involved, their financial solvency is at risk too.
The City of Vincent is keenly aware of these risks, so when a state government audit identified limitations that could potentially compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their data, the City acted fast.
“Resolving those limitations became a top priority,” said Peter Ferguson, Executive Manager of ICT for the City of Vincent. “The limitations were directly related to off-premises backup and disaster recovery (DR), so our compliance with the State Records Act was at risk too.”
Ferguson said he and his colleagues were using Veeam® Backup & Replication™, but they weren’t taking full advantage of Veeam’s offpremises backup and DR capabilities. That all changed when Ferguson decided to leverage on Focus Networks, a prominent Perth-based IT service provider that’s also a Silver Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partner.
“We provide the City of Vincent with something that wasn’t possible before: short-term backup copies on-premises and long-term backup copies in a tier 3 government-approved data center located 10 kilometers away — along with clearly defined service level agreements (SLAs) regarding data retention and recovery,” said David Staeck, Managing Director of Focus Networks. “Our job is to improve the security and reliability of their IT operations so they can focus on serving their constituents.”
Veeam and Focus Networks helped the City of Vincent resolve each limitation listed in the state government audit report by delivering comprehensive data protection and definitive SLAs for backup, archive and recovery. Veeam and Focus Networks also facilitate compliance with the State Records Act and the 3-2-1-1-0 Rule (3 different copies of data on 2 different media with 1 copy offsite and 1 copy that is air-gapped, immutable or offline and 0 backup recovery errors). Next, Veeam and Focus Networks will extend data protection to Microsoft Office 365 as the City transitions to the cloud.
“By sharing the risk and responsibility of data security to Veeam and Focus Networks, we gain a high level of confidence knowing our IT infrastructure is safe and resilient, and we have more time to focus on providing residents with additional digital services that optimize City services,” Ferguson added.
Veeam backs up and replicates 15 TB across 37 virtual machines on-premises and off-premises. Veeam Cloud Connect, which links the City to Focus Networks’ secure, private cloud in the government-approved data center, delivers encrypted backup copies that can be restored quickly following a disaster or cyberattack. Ferguson said Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 will be deployed next — before the City transitions to the cloud. Why? Veeam eliminates the risk of losing access and control of historical data.
“Most local governments use Office 365, which increases their security risk significantly,” Ferguson continued. “Why not ensure Office 365 data is always protected and accessible? It’s an easy fix with Veeam and Focus Networks.”
Microsoft provides a wide array of powerful services within Office 365, but comprehensive backup isn’t one of them. Veeam protects Office 365 data from accidental deletion, security threats and retention-policy gaps. Restoring individual items and files is fast and easy too.
“Veeam and Focus Networks work well in combination and provide data protection and security,” Ferguson said. “We have peace of mind knowing our IT environment is strong and healthy. Veeam’s roadmap for the future fuels this confidence. We appreciate their approach to continuous enhancements.”
The City of Vincent is a vibrant and diverse community located in Perth that offers an abundance of retail, entertainment and recreational opportunities. Established in 1994 and encompassing 11 square kilometers, the City has nearly 40,000 residents.
Cybercrime and ransomware attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, which puts government recordkeeping, financial management and residential services at risk. When a state government audit identified backup and DR limitations in the City’s IT infrastructure, the City turned those limitations into opportunities.