West Suffolk Council, based out of Bury St Edmunds, was formed in April 2019 from the merger of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council. The council’s IT team supports not only the council’s core 640 users but also a further 600 users from across several partner organisations, including the local leisure trust and one of the UK’s largest Revenues Partnerships.
Many elements of the council’s IT infrastructure manage personal or highly sensitive data, so robust and resilient protection against accidental data loss or malicious infiltration by cybercriminals is essential. Additionally, the council’s IT infrastructure is subject to robust regulatory frameworks, such as Department for Work and Pensions MoU and the GDPR, as well as the Public Services Network (PSN) standards mandated by the government for all public sector organisations connected to its secure network.
As such, the council needed a third-party provider who could not only validate the security and compliance of their network, but could also actively push it to continue identifying areas for improvement year on year. After a short period of using a ‘light touch’ provider who was overly reliant on automation. With a limited manual follow-up to try and exploit any identified vulnerabilities, the council began working with SureCloud in 2011.
“As a public sector organisation processing a great deal of sensitive information, it is critical that we ensure the highest standards of security and can demonstrate our compliance on an ongoing basis. SureCloud’s high-quality scans, tests and assessments, and the fact that we can view the results at all times through the online Platform, give us the visibility and confidence we need, in real-time,” said Wager.
“Common industry advice is to change your security and compliance consultants every two years so you can be sure of a fresh approach. SureCloud has such depth and breadth in the team that they can send us new consultants with exceptional skills and experience each time after winning our competitive tendor. This gives us the peace of mind that we are constantly examining and testing our network in new ways and spotting vulnerabilities we might not have noticed before,” commented Wager.