South Dublin County Council sharpens cyber risk mitigation

One of the country’s largest eGov service providers reaps the benefit of an AI-driven Juniper Networks’ infrastructure, deployed and supported by Agile Networks

Sean Nolan, business development manager, Agile Networks: ‘Juniper Sky ATP scans all files and blocks ransomware threats hiding in file downloads, before unsuspecting users ever get a chance to click on them.’ Picture: Maura Hickey

Independent network integrator and cloud services provider, Agile Networks has helped South Dublin County Council to enhance its cyber risk mitigation and benefit from AI-driven network management, through an IT infrastructure upgrade based on Juniper Networks’ technology.

The solution enhances the council’s security posture by building robust defences into the network, to automatically protect data, devices and workloads across the organisation. It is part of an overall upgrade to the council’s network infrastructure, providing more secure, flexible and responsive IT services for its 1,200 users.

Juniper Mist Access Points, deployed at headquarters and at eight satellite offices throughout the county work in conjunction with the Mist Cloud and AI Engine to collect and analyse metadata in near real time from all wireless clients. This enables rapid problem detection, predictive recommendations and proactive correction, realising the self-driving network.

Juniper Mist Wired Assurance allows the team at Agile to easily integrate management and monitoring of the council’s infrastructure to their Network Operations Centre, performed on a 24x7 basis.

For example, the Mist platform will visually identify the user, switch or access point that is not conforming with the set SLA in less than ten seconds. It will then proactively turn these insights into automated actions to identify and resolve issues, ensuring swift responsiveness, consistent network performance and maximum network uptime.

Enhanced security posture

Juniper Networks’ Connected Security takes a 360-degree approach, combining policy, detection and enforcement that centralises and automates security, while creating a smaller attack surface.

Juniper Sky Advanced Threat Prevention (Juniper Sky ATP) provides cloud-based malware detection to identify known and unknown threats through threat feed information and sandboxing, machine learning and threat deception techniques.

The council is constantly targeted with sophisticated phishing attacks as staff email addresses are so public.

Juniper Sky ATP is particularly effective in blocking ransomware as Sean Nolan, business development manager with Agile Networks, explains.

“Many ransomware attacks begin life as an EXE file, disguised as a Word document. Juniper Sky ATP scans all files and blocks ransomware threats hiding in file downloads, before unsuspecting users ever get a chance to click on them.”

Juniper’s scanning process is based on the application of seven antivirus engines, sophisticated machine learning and globally sourced security intelligence, which is constantly updated, followed by a sandbox with numerous patents, which prevent advanced malware evasion. Juniper has some very clever technology, which performs dynamic analysis with techniques to trick malware into activating and self-identifying.

“Home workers connecting to the corporate network after an extended period of time also enjoy effective protection,” said Nolan.

“As threat prevention is executed at the firewall level, their device is blocked from accessing computing resources, if that device is found to carry malware or ransomware or if any communication is directed towards external command and control networks, which may attempt to execute ransomware.”

Thanks to Agile Networks and Juniper Networks, the combination of policy and cloud-based prevention creates a highly automated, threat-aware network that protects South Dublin County Council and the wider community it supports.

For details, call 01-8853160, or visit agilenetworks.ie