#1 Global Leader in Data Protection & Ransomware Recovery

Guardia di Finanza protects vital evidence and crime-fighting tools with Veeam

Veeam is so effective and easy to use that it has helped us to spend less time and fewer resources managing our backups. This frees more resources for the GdF to use for fighting crime and upholding justice.
Rosario Cacciola
Security Backup Manager
Guardia di Finanza

The Business Challenge

Fraudsters, tax avoiders and other criminals live in fear of Guardia di Finanza (GdF), Italy’s specialist financial crime prevention taskforce. Part of the Italian military, GdF works around-the-clock to catch, detain and prosecute perpetrators of money laundering, organized crime, embezzlement and other serious offences.

In its mission to protect the Italian economy and ensure public safety, GdF uses a wide range of highly specialized, state-of-the-art law enforcement applications every day. And to help bring criminals to justice, the organization also manages troves of sensitive information related to ongoing and historical investigations — including vital evidence.

“As a law enforcement agency, we are well aware of the dangers posed by cyberattacks,” said Rosario Cacciola, Security Backup Manager at Guardia di Finanza. “Systems like our Document Management and Archiving database are targets for cybercriminals and any disruption to these core applications could have a significant impact on investigations. So, we do everything we can to prevent cybercriminals from breaching our systems.”

GdF operates a lean IT team to deliver value to taxpayers. As well as keeping critical crime-fighting applications running smoothly, this specialist unit is tasked with sharing information with approved government entities and ensuring the GdF always meets its data retention obligations. To achieve this, the IT team requires rapid access to vast volumes of data, often information that has been archived for many years.

“Data drives everything we do at Guardia di Finanza,” said Cacciola. “We regularly and routinely back up our systems to make sure that we can serve data to our colleagues across the organization. However, with crucial systems and information backed up by multiple tools and stored in various places, we found that our existing approach to back up and recovery was both time-consuming and resource-intensive.”

The Veeam Solution

To protect vital evidence and ensure always-on availability for the organization’s key data and applications, GdF selected Veeam.

“We looked at many different backup solutions, but Veeam was the only platform that could meet our high security standards and also offer extensive compatibility for virtualized IT environments,” said Cacciola. “We were particularly impressed with the fact that Veeam enables us to create a virtual machine from the backup of a physical server.”

GdF has now relied on Veeam for more than five years. Today, the company uses it to back up over 800 virtual machines with close to two petabytes of data within a virtualized private cloud environment. While most of the organization’s data resides at its command center in Rome, the GdF also provides regional offices with dedicated file servers, each of which are also backed up using Veeam and managed centrally by the IT team.

“Due to the sensitive nature of our work and the fact that we interface with many government and law enforcement systems, setting up our data protection environment was a sophisticated process,” said Cacciola. “We really appreciated that Veeam support was with us every step of the way and was always on hand to help us ensure best practices.”

To keep all vital information and applications protected, GdF backs up high-priority systems multiple times a day, and the rest of its environment weekly. If investigators need quick access to a backup, Veeam empowers GdF IT specialists to locate and restore individual files or emails — eliminating the need to restore entire folders or servers unless absolutely necessary.

GdF also uses Veeam to test its backups daily. “We need to know that we can have full confidence in our ability to restore all of our data,” said Cacciola. “Through its intuitive user interface, Veeam gives us a quick and easy way to restore every byte of information we need without compromising data integrity.”

By simplifying and standardizing backup and recovery operations with Veeam, the IT team at GdF now spend less time on system administration, which releases more time and resources for supporting frontline forces. What’s more, GdF can rest assured that all of its critical systems and data (including evidence and investigation details) can always be recovered quickly, even if downtime occurs.

“With Veeam at the heart of our data protection operations, we can provide our investigators with always-on access to crime-fighting tools and important information — helping them to capture and prosecute criminals swiftly and effectively.”

The Results

  • Optimizes the use of public funds by reducing administrative workloads.
    “Veeam is so effective and easy to use that it has helped us to spend less time and fewer resources managing our backups,” said Cacciola. “This frees more resources for the GdF to use for fighting crime and upholding justice.”
  • Delivers reliable and dependable data recovery around-the-clock.
    “We’ve already seen the power of Veeam recovery tools first-hand in real-world scenarios,” said Cacciola. “When one of our servers temporarily went offline, we used Veeam to restore critical information incredibly quickly.” 
  • Minimizes the potential impact of a cyberattack to help GdF provide uninterrupted citizen services.
    In the unlikely event that a cybercriminal penetrated GdF’s secure systems, the organization could use Veeam to rapidly restore important crime-fighting applications and, crucially, protect the chain of evidence.

Company:

Originally founded in 1774, Guardia di Finanza (GdF) is the specialized military police force operating under the authority of Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance. The organization runs customs operations, patrols territorial waters and fights financial crime and the illegal drug trade with its extensive fleet of ships and aircraft.

Challenge:

In its fight against crime, the GdF depends on highly sophisticated law enforcement applications and digital evidence stored as vast volumes of data to identify and prosecute criminals. Any disruption to these critical systems could delay justice. To ensure swift and effective police operations, the GdF looked for a data protection solution to enable 24/7 availability for vital information.

Results:

  • Optimizes the use of public funds by reducing administrative workloads
  • Delivers reliable and dependable data recovery around-the-clock
  • Minimizes the potential impact of a cyberattack to help GdF provide uninterrupted citizen services