Brimbank boosts security, reclaims IT staff time with managed security offering

The transition to a managed security service (MSS) offering has saved time and money for the City of Brimbank, a fast-growing local government in Melbourne's inner north-west that services some 182,000 residents from council offices in Sunshine.

As at many organisations, Brimbank's IT team had been dealing with a legacy Web and email filtering solution that was throwing up large numbers of false positives and forcing them to allocate a significant amount of manpower to tracking down and evaluating potential threats.

With the council's operations and responsibilities growing and the existing solution straining at the seams, the IT team began considering how a MSS offering might improve its situation for the future.

Conversations with MSS provider Tesserent led to an evaluation of the company's services, which were based around a security appliance that combined Web filtering, mail filtering and firewall management into a single platform.

A jointly planned migration of the existing environment to incorporate Tesserent's services, including VPN configuration and a backup security appliance installed at a secondary location, went smoothly and soon had dramatically reduced the burden on IT staff for manual intervention in dealing with security events.

“We based our initial decision to move to Tesserent on the need for our environment to be highly secure, and one that did not require us to constantly spend valuable time to manage and monitor,” said Ian Hovey, Brimbank's manager information technology.

“Implementation proved to be a very simple and transparent process.”

One significant benefit came from the provision of a self-service interface for employees to view and release wrongly-quarantined emails, about which they are now notified automatically. This process had previously consumed large swathes of IT employees' time but became fully automated in the new environment.

Tesserent manages the Brimbank environment 24x7 from its Melbourne data centre, responding to alerts on the council's behalf and notifying the IT team only as necessary.

Users have responded so well to the new environment that Brimbank had no hesitation in recently renewing the Tesserent contract.

The MSS investment “has proven to be an excellent and scalable choice,” said systems and security engineer Daniel Bonello. “Our partnership with Tesserent has allowed my team to focus on creating value within our organisation as they no longer have to spend time tending or worrying about an inefficient system.”

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