Pittwater Council: preventing outbreaks rather than fighting them*

Established in May 1992 as a separate New South Wales Local Government area, Pittwater Council borders the Narrabeen Bridge to the south, Tasman Sea to the east, Barrenjoey Headland to the north and Coal and Candle Creek to the west. Responsible for providing essential community services to its 56,000 residents, Pittwater Council chose Trend Micro NeatSuite and Trend Micro Network VirusWall 1200 – a comprehensive antivirus and secure content management solution – to protect its IT infrastructure from multiple types of threats.

Effectiveness in a real world situation

When the Love Bug virus hit networks and computers around the world, Pittwater Council was affected.

“There wasn’t much we could do except switch off the network,” Pittwater Council’s IT Leader, Chris Tubridy said. “All this trouble, simply because our incumbent antivirus vendor hadn’t released a virus pattern file update for more than 24 hours after the virus had been out ‘in the wild’.”

Rather than wait for a pattern file update, Chris Tubridy downloaded a copy of Trend Micro PC-cillinTM, loaded it on the infected servers and PCs and cleaned up the outbreak straight away.

“That was our assessment,” Chris said. “It was a real world situation where the effectiveness of a Trend Micro antivirus product for consumers demonstrated the ineffectiveness of our incumbent product.”

As a result, the Council set out to purchase and deploy a comprehensive Trend Micro security solution, which has grown to encompass: a 250-seat NeatSuite license, three Trend Micro Network VirusWall 1200s, with Trend Micro Vulnerability Assessment, Trend MicroTM Damage Cleanup Services, and Trend MicroTM Outbreak Prevention Services. Now the community network is protected at multiple layers with a comprehensive solution that allows Chris Tubridy’s team to manage threats proactively.

Proactive outbreak management

“A goal of any IT manager is to prevent outbreaks, and this is where Trend Micro has proven itself a definite leader,” Chris said. “Aside from the fact that Trend Micro’s security updates are released well ahead of other antivirus vendors, with Trend Micro’s outbreak prevention policies we can actually prevent outbreaks of new viruses and network worms even before we deploy pattern files and signatures.

“The level of prevention that we get with our multilayered security solution from Trend Micro equates directly to savings across the board. With NeatSuite and Trend Micro Network VirusWall 1200 we’ve reduced the amount of time it takes our IT personnel to manage malicious software threats and we’ve guaranteed greater reliability and security across the entire network.”

Security for the mobile workforce

Just as with many other organisations, Pittwater Council has recognised the importance of providing its field staff and management with mobile computing facilities.

According to Chris Tubridy, though, every mobile device deployed represents a potential threat to the Council’s IT assets.

“Mobile computing in a business environment is more – much more – than simply providing people with a notebook and relevant applications,” he said. “It’s also about security, and in a mobile environment this is even more of an imperative.”

When disconnected from Council’s network, mobile devices can become infected when end users access the Internet, download files or programs, open email, or surf the Web. Without the proper security, these infections can spread across the entire network when the mobile worker reconnects to the Council network.

The desktop security component of NeatSuite, Trend Micro OfficeScanTM protects each of the Council’s notebook and tablet PCs. Each unit is protected whilst disconnected from the network and, even more importantly, the network is protected once the PCs are reconnected.

“Using Trend Micro Network VirusWall 1200 with Vulnerability Assessment, I can selectively block a notebook or tablet when it reconnects to the network, until it is updated with the current virus scanning engine and pattern files,” Chris Tubridy explained. “If they aren’t current, they’re automatically updated. Then, and only then, is the device permitted to connect to the network. This means that regardless of what happens to the device in its mobile environment, once connected to the network, there’s no way it can be used as a penetration point.

“For us, security continues to grow in importance; and Trend Micro technology is what we’ll continue to rely on to keep us brickwalled!”

Key benefits

• Multi layer defense at virtually every access point in the network provides comprehensive antivirus protection.
• Single point of contact administration, monitoring, and management of antivirus protection reduces complexity and burden on IT managers.
• Centralised management updates and policy enforcement lowers operational costs.

For further information contact Greg Boyle, Marketing Manager at Trend Micro, email aumbmarketing@trendmicro.com.au

*Copy supplied by Trend Micro Australia