Intelligent CIO North America Issue 27 | Page 57


Sometimes it takes a crisis to demonstrate the power of city services , and no city knows this better than Sarasota . A coastal community on the Gulf of Mexico , Sarasota is vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding , and like most municipalities , it ’ s also vulnerable to ransomware attacks .

To guarantee residents have uninterrupted access to city services , Sarasota created a digital component for nearly every service and modernized data protection in a facility that can withstand a Category 5 storm .
Sarasota offers many digital services . They include utility bill payment , permit applications , a domestic partner registry , crime mapping and an emergency management website that helps residents prepare for , respond to and recover from hazardous weather .
Rodriguez , Information Technology Director for the City of Sarasota . “ We were using a product that was unable to meet the city ’ s data integrity needs in any way , shape or form because it began to fail , putting city services in jeopardy .”
After spending three days on the phone with the backup vendor , Rodriguez said he and his team downloaded a free trial of Veeam Availability Suite . Within 30 minutes they configured Veeam ( he said it ’ s intuitive and easy to use ) and began the first of many reliable backup jobs .
“ We started using Veeam to keep city services running and support Digital Transformation of future services , but Veeam ’ s true test came a year later when cybercriminals attempted an attack on our city ,” Rodriguez said .
“ Our job is to help keep city services running all the time , particularly in the event of a crisis ,” said Herminio
“ They encrypted three file servers supporting city services and demanded US $ 34 million in Bitcoin .




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