City of Richmond Uses the Barracuda Web Application Firewall to Secure E-Governance

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Located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the city of Richmond has a population of 103,701 and is the second largest city in Contra Costa County. Like many other cities in the Unites States, it has increasingly utilized e-governance for government-to-citizens, government-to-business, government-to-government, as well as back office processes and interactions within their government framework.


The City of Richmond hosts several web applications and services, including Microsoft Exchange-based services for employees and GIS-based mapping services for accessing spatial information about the city, requiring around-the-clock security and accessibility. As a public organization, the City of Richmond is a prime target for cybercriminals attempting to deface or hack the web sites and inject malware. Henry Lei, City of Richmond Networking and Systems Manager, said the previous configuration was a Linux based reverse proxy in the DMZ placed in front of the web application servers. The proxy used to run on HP servers, though the following challenges were an issue:

* Proxy did not have application security capabilities to prevent sophisticated web based attacks

* Upgrading HP based systems entailed a lot work

* Maintaining Linux based reverse proxy was a maintenance nightmare

Because of these time consuming issues, the City of Richmond began its quest for an effective solution that would eliminate current challenges while securing the FTP server.


Barracuda Web Application Firewall 460 Cluster

Lei was already using the Barracuda Spam Firewall
as a network solution. The City of Richmond IT team appreciated Barracuda’s comprehensive feature set, simple licensing and low total cost of ownership. With no user-based or module-based pricing and no license-based performance restrictions, Lei and his team were impressed with their single Barracuda solution.


Due to their positive experience with the Barracuda Spam Firewall, Lei and his team zeroed down on the Barracuda Web Application Firewall. They chose it for ease of use, low total cost of ownership and comprehensive application security features. The City of Richmond chose to deploy a high availability cluster to replace their Linux systems.


Lei says one of the most heavily used applications behind the Barracuda Web Application Firewall is Microsoft Exchange. The load on the Exchange spikes in the morning when employees get up and check their emails on their mobile phones and iPads, regularly reaching 20 Mbps. The IT team often sees attacks that are blocked and logged by the Barracuda Web Application Firewall. Lei also appreciates the inbuilt virus protection that leverages the same engine from the Barracuda Spam Firewall. Being able to secure their FTP services has been an added bonus.


This Barracuda project has been a great success for the City of Richmond. In addition to the enhanced application protection, robustness and availability, Lei says that deployment and maintenance is easy and simple like the Spam Firewall. Lei’s IT team admin overhead is significantly reduced and find themselves only logging in to the product’s web UI for periodic firmware upgrades. Lei has increased productivity and has taken on additional responsibility for the organization with his newly flexible schedule.


Interested in trying the Barracuda Web Application Firewall free for 30 days? Click here!


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