Cross Hydraulics strengthens its IT security infrastructure with Barracuda

When Cross Hydraulics, one of Australia’s leading suppliers of imported hydraulic and electrical equipment, had to strengthen its IT security infrastructure in partnership with Barracuda. It now has a complete security and archiving infrastructure covering its needs across all of its offices.

Founded in 1976, Cross Hydraulics has grown into one of Australia’s leading suppliers of imported hydraulic and electrical equipment to customers across the country. The family business employs over 140 people and also manufactures a range of products customized to meet specific customer requirements.

Securing the distributed network

As the business has grown, the need for a reliable IT infrastructure to support day-to-day operations has also increased. Originally provided as a centralized resource with the majority of their applications residing at the company’s headquarters in Victoria, the company’s IT infrastructure has grown in recent years to cover offices at six locations in Australia and Australia. New Zealand.

While this topology reflected the best IT practices of the past, the advent of cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions, including the Microsoft Office 365 suite, has changed the way company employees access to their most critical applications.

This was because it was no longer necessary or efficient to use the old centralized data center model. Forcing computer users to access the internet through Victoria headquarters created a performance bottleneck and overloaded the network.

If the solution was to change the network to a more distributed model, this also introduced a new challenge. The company now needed to secure all of its sites, as opposed to just their main data center, while maintaining secure connectivity and backup within the office.

Cross Hydraulics IT manager Alex Burrows said the larger network requires a different approach to security. Every office needed protection and everything had to be managed as a cohesive whole. This coincided with the establishment of an office in New Zealand which also needed a strengthened IT security infrastructure.

“Our overall security posture must have changed just as the world changes every day with new threats,” Burrows said. “Additionally, the migration to Microsoft 365 required us to deploy internet links to each site, as opposed to an MPLS network to a single firewall in the data center. This gave us efficiency for the workforce and direct connection to our SaaS business tools. Every office needed protection as we moved away from the traditional data center server model and everything had to be managed by my managed service provider, GPK Group.

Develop the network with Barracuda

Barracuda has been leading the way for years with robust safety solutions perfectly suited to the demands of Cross Hydraulics. Cross Hydraulics has been using Barracuda’s rugged CloudGen firewall models since 2018.

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology, a key feature of Barracuda’s security solutions, provides the company with a flexible network design that allows direct Internet access through Barracuda’s firewalls, while at the same time offering a dynamic and secure interface. desktop connectivity.

As Cross Hydraulics continues to thrive and grow, firewalls are also flexible enough to adapt to changing business needs.

“We are now using a high availability firewall configuration,” Burrows said. “This was made possible by placing multiple firewalls in a group and then configuring them to be in sync, avoiding a single point of failure in any office.

“At the same time, we saw that the firewalls were able to meet our new requirements and therefore made the decision to deploy additional appliances. The most recent were deployed to our New South Wales and Western Australia offices in 2020. ”

Earlier this year, the company extended its protection by deploying Barracuda CloudGen Firewall in New Zealand.

Complete security

Additionally, Barracuda CloudGen Firewall and Barracuda Total Email Protection have been implemented to provide a holistic solution to all potential threat vectors of concern to Cross Hydraulics.

With Barracuda solutions now available in Australia and New Zealand, Cross Hydraulics benefits from significant advantages. All offices are fully protected against attacks and can share data transparently as needed. New Zealand site staff can share data and access applications as if they were in the same country.

“We use Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup to protect our critical Office 365 data as well as Barracuda Backup Appliance to protect our other back-end servers and applications,” Burrows said. “This means that we are able to back up our data to a managed appliance and also send a copy of those backups to the cloud. This helps us protect our data by having it in multiple places. “

Burrows says Barracuda Essentials is also helping the company cope with email traffic that regularly hits 10,000 messages in a single day.

“Of these, around 2000 are found to be generally malicious and capable of harming our systems,” he said. “Barracuda automatically stops these messages and sends us a report if any of them seem particularly unpleasant. “

Burrows also reports that Barracuda Message Archiver automates the archiving process of all emails sent and received, while Barracuda Sentinel continuously scans user inboxes using artificial intelligence that can identify threats. potential.

“We now have a comprehensive security and archiving infrastructure in place that covers our needs in all of our offices,” he said. “With Barracuda, we have a technology partner who we know will continue to support our growing operations for years to come. “

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