Local council Azure health check improves security, risk and infrastructure spend

December 9, 2020
Michael Wines

About the customer

A local government municipality in Victoria, Australia. The council plays a vital role in providing key administration and governance to a mainly urban population of more than 100,000 residents.

 

The Problem

Having recently migrated most of their critical business functions from on-premises data centres to Microsoft Azure as its strategic public cloud platform. A growing awareness of potential security vulnerabilities led the customer to engage Olikka to undertake an Azure health check of their environment and provide key recommendations.

The team was primarily finding it difficult to keep abreast of new features and changes to the Azure platform, which increased the risk of exposure to cyber security threats.  At the same time, the council’s IT team wanted to simplify management of the Azure platform and make improvements to reduce infrastructure spend.

 

The Solution

The customer sought Olikka’s help to implement the changes recommended from the health check. The initial review and report took two weeks to complete, then the recommended remediation activities were implemented over six to eight weeks.

Olikka’s health check revealed several key Azure remediation items that should be implemented to for the council to improve its security posture and streamline costs. Firstly, the team implemented a baseline to begin with before moving to a continual cycle mode to maintain, secure and optimise to ensure the Azure public cloud environment is kept up to date, including cleaning up administration roles to allow effective oversight.

Secondly, the Azure platform architecture was secured, optimised and fit-for-purpose to enable the IT team to introduce new cloud capabilities. This included configuring just-in-time management and enhancing backup processes resolving virtual machine (VM) replication issues for business continuity. Improvements to security measures included improved auditing and logging across various Azure resource types, deploying monitoring agents and vulnerability assessment tools and implementing alerting enhancements. Olikka also restricted network access to Azure resources, where appropriate.

Finally, the team established a continuous improvement process of cost optimisation and service enhancement, such as implementing schedule for automatic power down/power up of VMs.

“Working with Olikka helped us improve our security posture, mitigate potential business continuity risks and help reduce our Azure running costs. We have also improved IT services by enabling the latest Microsoft features.”

Council ICT Manager

 

Benefits

The customer now experiences an improved security posture across its Azure environment, and has the tools, alerting and auditing information configured to ensure that security vulnerabilities are identified and addressed in a timely fashion. The council’s IT team were able to leverage Olikka’sexpert Azure skills and knowledge to remediate the environment quickly, with minimal disruption to the council or its users.

Olikka helped the customer achieve a baseline in terms of current standards with its Azure platform, yielding improved security and virtual infrastructure management capabilities via enhanced monitoring,alerting and auditing.

The team also helped the customer resolve its outstanding technical issues that were identified during the health check.

Finally, the council has been able to realise ongoing cost savings through improved infrastructure use.

“Our team was delighted with the support that Olikka provided – Azure is a constantly evolving product which means best practices need to be implemented to get the most out of our investment. It gave us peace of mind that our trusted partners were able to make recommendations for improving security and risk measures, so we can ensure we deliver optimised services for the council without risking public exposure of information or embarrassing security breaches. We will look to Olikka to help us maintain best practices.”

Council ICT Manager


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