Critical internet security for Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council is now being provided through a managed services partnership with Lancaster based public sector digital specialists, TNP Ltd.
The ground-breaking move is designed to deliver greater value for local stakeholders while maintaining optimum protection for the council’s digital infrastructure.
Management of the main digital infrastructure for Trafford Council will remain in-house, but the new partnership arrangement to manage security reflects the intense pressure on local authorities to retain the expertise required to safeguard digital services.
Cllr Laura Evans, Executive Member for Transformation and Resources at Trafford Council explained: “Security specialists are increasingly in demand for both the public and private sectors. That makes partnering with a specialist provider to manage security an attractive option for Trafford Council to deliver high calibre cost-effective support. We are not prepared to compromise on cyber security and will continue to maintain the highest standards of protection and resilience for our own services and the wider community.”
Lancaster-based TNP (The Networking People) won the Trafford Council contract in competitive tender through the award-winning STAR shared procurement service for Stockport, Trafford and Rochdale Councils. STAR ensures best procurement practice and assists the councils and partner organisations in commissioning services from suppliers in the private, voluntary and community sectors, where those services cannot be delivered in-house.
Digital security is particularly important for local authorities with the increasing move to cloud-based support services and software packages, alongside the focus on safeguarding users of the council’s internet services within the local community.
TNP’s Commercial Director Chris Wade commented: “Key elements for safeguarding a digital system are constantly monitoring its performance, ensuring the latest updates are in place, and having the resources to deal quickly and decisively with any incidents which arise, to maintain the service and neutralise threats.
“Whilst proprietary security software systems automatically undertake much of the monitoring, TNP brings the accreditations and extensive knowledge to interpret the output and offer expert oversight and management. We will also integrate with the Trafford Council IT team, to become effectively an extension of their in-house service.”
The contract scope for TNP involves developing and maintaining a cyber-security strategy in conjunction with Trafford Council to demonstrate framework compliance. It includes continuous antivirus application control, and intrusion monitoring, detection and alerts, with a direct link to TNP’s Security Operations Centre ensuring an immediate response.
TNP will analyse and monitor traffic trends to aid capacity planning and reporting, maintain daily backups of the firewalls and all security appliances, and automatically back up hardware appliance configurations.
In addition to general consultancy and advice TNP will assist the council with hands-on installation, configuration and implementation using its field engineering team as on-site support and drawing on their multi-vendor knowledge across a range of architectures.