Case Study

Local authority enhances and protects their application delivery network

A local authority turned to FullProxy for support and guidance to enhance and protect their application delivery network.

FullProxy’s consultants led them in the right direction as to what cyber solutions were right for their environment and played a key role in project delivery and operational support, which helped the authority’s local community, employees, student population and service partnerships gain secure access to the web application services and data they needed. Having successfully used F5 products for ten years or more it was important for the local authority to continue to maximise return on investment and maintain the lifecycle and security of their application services with minimal impact on their operations, whilst agilely delivering new digital services.

Delivering public-facing web services means that an organisation must ensure that their IT assets and data are secure and fully protected against common cyber attacks. Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting UK councils with more than two million attempted attacks recorded in 2022.

The local authority has a highly segmented and secure network environment that ensures its employees, tenants, student population and service partners only receive access to the resources they require. The organisation has an extensive F5 infrastructure which consists of both physical and virtual F5 BIG-IPs, delivering local traffic management, network firewalling, and application security management services. BIG-IP application policy manager is also used to provide identity and access management for corporate, education, and service partner users.



The Problem

Having experienced the impact of Covid-19 and an enforced shift to remote working the authority needed to enhance existing remote access services. They were already using F5 services and needed to continue to deliver internal and external web services without any operational disruption, whilst protecting vital web services and data for council tenants, employees and social care partnerships. Not only this but, the organisation needed to improve the protection of their public-facing web services from cyber security threats. They also needed a way to segment their network to ensure that users only received access to the resources they required, and they were also looking for support with upcoming projects such as public cloud hosting.

Working closely with the local IT team, our expertise and agility at FullProxy have allowed us to deliver complex, time dependent and secure IT solutions. In turn this has enabled the local authority to provide scalable and secure digital services for their staff, service partners and constituents alike.  At FullProxy we regard our working relationship with the local authority as a key partnership.  We envisage the partnership growing stronger, whilst continuing to deliver value added services for the foreseeable future.

Stephen Mellon, Technical Consultant, FullProxy

Our Solution

As an F5 Gold Partner, FullProxy provide consultation, design, planning, implementation and operational support for F5 solutions within the authority’s infrastructure. It’s public-facing web services are hosted behind F5’s BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, F5 AWAF (Advanced Web Application Firewall) and Access Policy Manager, which helps with remote access, application delivery and performance and network firewalling, it also provides state-of-the-art cyber protection with prebuilt and certified application security and remote access policies. The F5 AWAF (Advanced Web Application Firewall) is particularly useful for the organisation as it provides web application security for common applications such as Microsoft office. The F5 AWAF (Advanced Web Application Firewall) also provides protection against DDOS attacks, Bot Defence capabilities, API protection and signature based attacks that help protect web applications from common cyber security threats including the OWASP top 10.

Not only this, but with F5’s F5 APM (Access Policy Manager) deployed within their infrastructure, this created a secure environment for its partners to remotely access shared applications and also prevents data leaks when sharing sensitive information. The F5 APM (Access Policy Manager) provided secure remote and mobile access which fitted well within the organisation’s infrastructure, as it secures and centralises access to apps, APIs and data, no matter where users and apps are located, making it a great addition to the existing IT services that support remote workers and partners.

To minimise the risk of cyberattack, it is extremely important to protect IT assets and data, cyberattacks can have devastating consequences from a financial and reputational perspective. By using F5 solutions the local authority is able to deliver secure and robust web services that have been optimally configured to ensure that user experience is consistent regardless of the access method, and that they are accessible and secure at all times.

One key project which FullProxy supported was helping the local authority to redirect its web traffic to a third-party cloud web proxy provider. FullProxy provided consultation, design and implementation services for the configuration and set-up of the F5 LTM (Local Traffic Manager) services that allowed the authority to securely and efficiently route web traffic to the hosted web proxy provider.

FullProxy also provided consultancy, design, procurement and implementation services that delivered a web filtering solution for the local authority using Fortinet next generation firewalls, FortiGate. The solution provided a high-level of cyber threat protection and prevention, including blocking user access to malicious domains and harmful web content, bandwidth control, prevented common social engineering techniques and malware downloads. Having the right security controls in place allows the local authority to tightly manage the web applications it’s internal and external users are able to access.

The Results

The local authority was able to deliver a secure web application and remote access environment for their internal and external partners that allowed them to access their data, whilst protecting vital customer data and services from daily cyber threats. Overall, FullProxy have helped them to deliver a more secure and efficient application network environment by providing vital consultancy, design, procurement, implementation and operational support for legacy application services, and deliver essential project management for new initiatives, whilst continually improving cyber security for the web services provided by the authority to their tenants, employees, students and local service partnerships.

Are you interested in finding out more about the products mentioned in this case study? If the answer is yes, why not arrange a chat with one of our consultants today who can talk through F5 and Fortinet solutions that are right for your network.

Products used

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager
F5 Access Policy Manager