Cross Hydraulics strengthens its IT security infrastructure with Barracuda

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

Founded in 1976, Cross Hydraulics has grown to become 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 custom products 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. Initially provided as a centralized resource with the majority of their applications residing at the company’s head office in Victoria, the company’s IT infrastructure has grown in recent years to cover offices across six sites in Australia and in New Zealand.

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

Indeed, it was no longer necessary or efficient to use the old centralized data center model. Forcing computer users to access the Internet through the Victoria headquarters had created a bottleneck affecting performance and also overloading the network.

While changing the network to a more distributed model was the solution, it also introduced a new challenge. The organization now needed to secure all of its sites, not just its main data center, while maintaining secure connectivity and backup within the offices.

Cross Hydraulics IT manager Alex Burrows said the larger network required 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 strong IT security infrastructure.

“Our general security posture had to change just as the world changes with new threats every day,” Burrows said. “Additionally, migrating 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. It gave us efficiency for labor 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 handled by my managed service provider, GPK Group.

Expand the network with Barracuda

Barracuda has been leading the way for years with robust safety solutions that perfectly meet the demands of Cross Hydraulics. Cross Hydraulics has been using Barracuda’s robust CloudGen firewall designs since 2018.

Software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) technology, a key feature of Barracuda security solutions, provides the enterprise with a flexible network design that enables direct Internet access through Barracuda firewalls, while offering a dynamic and secure intra-system. office connectivity.

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

“We are now running a high availability firewall setup,” Burrows said. “This was achieved by placing multiple firewalls in a group and then configuring them to be synchronized, thus avoiding a single point of failure in any office.

“At the same time, we found that the firewalls met our new requirements, so we made the decision to deploy additional appliances. The most recent were rolled out to our offices in New South Wales and Western Australia 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 present in Australia and New Zealand, Cross Hydraulics enjoys significant advantages. All offices are fully protected against attacks and can share data seamlessly as needed. Staff in New Zealand 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 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. »

According to Burrows, Barracuda Essentials also helps 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 seem particularly unpleasant.”

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

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

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