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NSW MidCoast Council deploys Check Point Software

Check Point Software has deployed comprehensive security architecture at MidCoast Council in New South Wales with Check Point Infinity. 

The cyber security architecture is built to prevent sophisticated Fifth Generation attacks across networks, cloud deployments, endpoints, and mobile and IoT devices.

It provides the council with a comprehensive security solution stack across its data centres, endpoints and remote locations and will support the organisation to simplify its complex infrastructure.  

The MidCoast Council IT network connects 80 sites, including district offices, citizen services centres and critical infrastructure plants, primarily using a private microwave radio network.

Additional sites connect to the network via 4G or VPN. Services are delivered from a primary data centre, with a secondary one providing backup and disaster recovery capabilities. 

With over 1100 users, including external contractors, the IT team also supports nine communications towers, around 30 Vcentre Hosts, 250 virtual machines, 200 desktop PCs, 1,000 mobile devices and 600 Windows laptops. 

Mike Nelson, Coordinator of IT Infrastructure for MidCoast Council, says: "We needed a holistic, consistent security solution and selected Check Point partner, S5 Technology Group, to help us achieve our goals of achieving a single-pane-of-glass management and flexibility to support immediate and future deployments without disruption." 

MidCoast Council has deployed Check Point Quantum Security Gateways for network edge security in the main office and to secure segmented traffic at local sites. 

With Quantum security gateways, MidCoast Council automatically benefits from Check Point ThreatCloud AI, which keeps customers' networks fully informed about new evasive threats and delivers immediate cyber security updates to protect the council's digital assets. 

The council also upgraded security in its primary data centre using Check Point Quantum Lightspeed for up to 3 Tbps throughput with ultra-low latency. Quantum Lightspeed provides firewall services for the organisation's internal corporate networks. 

Aaron Beard, Senior Network Administrator for MidCoast Council, says: "The single most effective solution for us so far has been the Quantum Security Gateways."

"We've relied extensively on several key features. Identity awareness capabilities give us granular visibility of users, groups and machines to support critical water quality and wastewater management operations."

"Remote access VPN features were vital during the pandemic, and intrusion prevention system (IPS) significantly boosted protection of networks and servers." 

"In addition, Check Point has helped the council evolve its level of security maturity as defined by the Australian Cyber Security Centre's Essential Eight security framework. Infinity increased our security performance, in throughput and protection, in ways that other vendors couldn't," says Beard.

Check Point Harmony Endpoint protects the organisation's PCs and laptops, preventing the most imminent threats to endpoints across the environment. 

MidCoast Council also chose Check Point Horizon Managed Prevention & Response (MDR) for 24x7x365 security infrastructure monitoring and threat intelligence by Check Point elite experts enabling the council to prevent, monitor, detect, investigate and remediate attacks with a single solution. 

"Check Point Infinity allows us to evolve our security without having to know all of our requirements ahead of time," says Nelson. 

"We have immediately secured our critical infrastructure with the most advanced security humanly possible. At the same time, we can add and adapt our solutions to meet the needs we know are coming later."

All Check Point Infinity solutions integrate seamlessly as a collaborative environment, allowing the team to work together.

Nelson continues: "Infinity gives us complete flexibility."

"Going forward, we can easily adapt protection as we need it. For example, we're migrating email to Microsoft 365 in the cloud. We'll be able to extend Zero Trust to new areas of our network. Future cloud deployments will be protected."

"Check Point provides us with the comprehensive, consolidated, collaborative approach needed to secure whatever comes next," says Nelson. 

MidCoast Council provides administration for local government entities, critical infrastructure and citizen services serving around 95,000 residents and spanning 10,000 square kilometres. Taree and Forster-Tuncurry are its two major population centres.                                                      

Les Williamson, Regional Director, Check Point Australia & New Zealand, says: "In conjunction with S5 Technology Group, we are delighted to have successfully deployed a cyber security future-fit architecture enabling MidCoast Council to transform its approach to securing its people, data and assets while moving away from legacy infrastructure while all along aligning with the Essential Eight and a Zero Trust approach."

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