Comune di Avezzano strengthens cybersecurity with Check Point

“If the municipal engine stops, the impact on our citizens is enormous. The operational continuity that Check Point guarantees us is fundamental for providing municipal services in a continuous and secure way.”
– Giacomo Calisse, Network Administrator, Comune di Avezzano and Alberto Di Berardino, Network Administrator, Comune di Avezzano

Overview

Comune di Avezzano
With over 43,000 residents, Avezzano is an important municipality in the province of L’Aquila, in Abruzzo. However, Avezzano has recently faced natural disasters being located in an earthquake prone area. The municipal offices recognize the challenges and are dedicated to serving their citizens by protecting the area and ensuring the safety of the local people.

Business Challenge

Speed and continuity to serve and protect citizens
Comune di Avezzano uses two different data centers, one for the provision of services and the other as a disaster recovery center. Together, the data centers serve around 300 workstations operating in nine different locations. The complex infrastructure manages various activities including but not limited to; civil protection, cultural and sporting events, building and commercial planning management, local police, registry offices and managing record keeping of citizens’ marital status and other civilian data points. The IT infrastructure manages around 30 TB of data, stored in three different appliances; two with 15 TB of capacity each and one used as a redundancy.

“There is no need to explain why securing citizens’ sensitive data and operational continuity of the services we provide is fundamental,” says Giacomo Calisse, Network Administrator at the Comune di Avezzano. “In recent times, however, due to evolving cyber-attacks, and increasingly stringent GDPR rules, it has become exceedingly more important to rely on fast and effective security solutions.”

In the past, the Comune di Avezzano was affected by CryptoLocker phishing attacks and ‘brute force’ attacks that succeeded in partially blocking email accounts. In all cases, Check Point technology successfully allowed the municipality to overcome these attacks with no serious repercussions.

Following these cyber-attacks, the municipality’s IT team recognized the urgent need to raise their level of security to ensure the continuity of services and data protection in the future.

Solution

A single technology to maximize effectiveness
As a satisfied Check Point customer since 2016, Comune di Avezzano decided to use the Check Point software for its entire security infrastructure, replacing all other security technologies.

“We analyzed the top solutions in the market,” says Calisse, “participating in several demonstrations. The Check Point technology was immediately the most effective, both in terms of preventing cyber-attacks as well as monitoring and reporting.”

Comune di Avezzano installed the Check Point Next Generation Threat Prevention solution which includes firewalls, VPN, URL filtering, IPS, anti-bot, antivirus, application control, identity awareness and content awareness, threat emulation and threat extraction capabilities. This solution protects 30 servers and over 300 clients, alongside Check Point SandBlast™ Mobile, a leading mobile threat defense solution protecting data on employees’ and executives’ mobile devices.

Benefits

Next step – to the cloud
The Check Point solutions allow Comune di Avezzano to quickly react to threats, analyze HTTPS traffic, check email attachments and implement sophisticated anti-phishing technology and providing real-time reporting and threat prevention. The municipal now has full real-time visibility into which data is entering their site and if it is potentially dangerous.

“Check Point,” says Alberto Di Berardino, Network Administrator at the Comune di Avezzano, “has allowed us to secure the sensitive data of citizens, in compliance with GDPR regulations and ensured the continuity of our operations.

“In the future we will be implementing increased cloud security. We started with email through Microsoft Office 365, but we will eventually move to SaaS services. For this reason, we plan to implement the security protection provided by Check Point CloudGuard™.”

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