Dorset County Council

Impartial cyber security advice & technical support; utilising F5 load-balancing technology

"We can have frank, honest conversations about our plans and technologies with BlueFort because they are vendor agnostic specialists in security solutions. BlueFort have always provided timely and well thought out advice and recommendations. We have confidence that what BlueFort suggests is the best fit for us and we know BlueFort will never try to sell us a product that we do not need or prolong a solution that we no longer require.”

Vince Elliott, ICT Infrastructure Manager

Key challenges
  • Need to improve key application security and resilience
  • Requirement for honest, vendor agnostic IT security advice
  • Tight budgets with a requirement for best value technology
  • Changing attitude towards remote and mobile working patterns
  • 24x7 nature of threats driving a need for heightened vigilance
Open, honest partnership

Keen to always be evolving, adopting new technologies and continuously improving their user experiences, the team at Dorset Council work closely with a select group of specialist partners who share their vision to transform Dorset Council into a modern authority and to embrace innovative technologies. Responsible for all government public services for Dorset, managing everything from public facing web pages and public wifi networks through to remote access for mobile devices and everything in between; Dorset Council partner with BlueFort for impartial cyber security advice & solutions to develop the security posture across their infrastructure.

 

BlueFort and Dorset Council have enjoyed a decade long partnership, within that time BlueFort have worked closely with the team on a variety of transformation projects. Commenting on this Vince Elliott, ICT Infrastructure Manager said, “We can have frank, honest conversations about our plans and technologies with BlueFort because they are vendor agnostic specialists in security solutions. BlueFort have always provided timely and well thought out advice and recommendations. We have confidence that what BlueFort suggests is the best fit for us and we know BlueFort will never try to sell us a product that we do not need or prolong a solution that we no longer require.”

Creating a truly proactive service

With a team goal of becoming truly proactive across all their IT services, Dorset Council partnered with BlueFort to help develop security solutions to complement their existing infrastructure and to grow flexibly with the council’s evolving requirements. During one of the earliest engagements, Dorset Council approached BlueFort with a remit to improve security, reliability and resilience across a number of key applications. After discussions with the council, BlueFort recommended F5’s Big-IP Local Traffic Manager which has now become a central part of Dorset’s infrastructure for ensuring high levels of security and availability for the council’s most critical applications.

Using tried and tested F5 technologies

Building on the success of the deployment of F5’s Local Traffic Manager, Dorset Council and BlueFort have continued to evolve the solution, since adding F5 Application Security Manager and F5 DNS to improve their security posture, encompassing sensitive public facing applications, and adding DNS resilience for high availability and disaster recovery. BlueFort carried out due diligence and testing within a proof of concept to ensure each solution would work in their environment. Once proven, BlueFort’s technical specialists completed the implementation and then lead focused training for the internal IT team so they could manage the technology day to day, with access to BlueFort’s support team for assistance as and when required.

Trusted account management

Among Dorset’s IT team’s key challenges is how to prioritise projects within an environment of constant threats. With limited budgets there is a constant pressure to provide value for money for their constituents. Commenting on this Vince Elliott explained “Working with public sector bodies like ours can be difficult, we have tight budgets and can have fairly lengthy decision-making processes. Our account manager at BlueFort understands this and has worked closely with us to demonstrate value to key internal stakeholders and to deliver projects effectively and within budget. As a team we keep moving forward, implementing innovative solutions so we can safely provide public services for the local area.”