If you really want to get away from it all, you could hardly do better than to head for the small volcanic island of Saint Helena. It’s a British Overseas Territory, and it’s pretty much in the dead center of the south Atlantic Ocean, about 10 miles long and 5 miles wide. Its main historic claim to fame is that it is where Napoleon Bonaparte lived out his final days in exile.
Now, obviously the best way to prevent cyberthreats is to maintain an air gap between your systems and the outside world, and until the late 1990s, that’s pretty much what the government of Saint Helena did. In fact, uncontrolled use of USB drives from the mainland used to be the most concerning threat vector.
But progress is relentless, and today a 10Mbit link connects the Saint Helena government’s approximately 700 workers to the wider world — and to the cyberthreats that inhabit it.
“We’re faced with the same challenges other organizations face,” says Director of Technology Operations Jeremy Roberts, “such as inbound threats like data theft, phishing, and ransomware. That’s why we’re glad to have worked with Barracuda over the past 15 years to ensure security.”
When Roberts and his team first realized that they needed to implement additional security, they began doing research and turning to trusted associates. “One of my contacts in the telecommunications industry recommended Barracuda,” he says. “After looking into their products and capabilities, we came to the consensus that they would be a good fit for us.”
(Are we proud of the fact that even in the middle of the ocean there are people recommending Barracuda to each other? Yes. Yes, we are.)
“We’ve recently installed several Barracuda Web Security Gateway appliances along with CloudGen Firewall appliances, and we’ve found them to be reliable, robust, and efficient for our needs,” says Roberts.
“The Web Security Gateway not only protects us from web-borne threats,” he continues. “It also lets us regulate bandwidth usage, which is really important considering our limited data pipe. And even when the new subsea cable upgrades the island’s connectivity in a few months, it will still be an important consideration.”
“The CloudGen Firewall appliances were simply effortless to install and get up and running, thanks to Zero-Touch Deployment,” says Roberts. “And, of course, the very advanced security capabilities give us real peace of mind. We’ve not had any compromises since installing, and the products are user-friendly — there’s very little you have to do day-to-day to manage them. I don’t have any critical feedback about Barracuda.”
Into the cloud era
When the new high-bandwidth cable brings Saint Helena into the cloud era, they will face a new world of both opportunity and advanced threats, but Roberts is confident that Barracuda will continue to be their security partner.
“Over the past 15 years we’ve received excellent support care from Barracuda,” he says. “At this moment, I can’t foresee ourselves moving away from the brand.”