NUCA Case Study

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Customer Case Study

Evacuation, Fire, Ransomware:
How a Utility Association Successfully
Powers Through Threats

The Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association, doing business as NUCA Pennsylvania (NUCA PA), has been the voice of the region’s utility industry for sewer and water contractors, suppliers, pros and governmental entities for more than 55 years. It defines, establishes and preserves the identity and interests of the industry through promotion with government agencies, general contractors, labor and engineers.

The mission of NUCA PA is to provide funding for projects, fair and reasonable contract specifications, timely payments, fair bidding practices, subsurface utility locating and a favorable law and regulatory environment. It serves 55 elite contractors with a total 5,000 employees spread across the state, and acts as the regional arm of the National Utility Contractor’s Association.

For 27 years, Brenda Reigle has served as executive director of NUCA PA, while overseeing the organization’s IT. And for more than a decade she has relied on CyberFortress to handle data protection. In fact, they’ve been her one and only service provider – and for good reason. 

A Moving Experience

In 2013, at NUCA PA’s prior Harrisburg headquarters, Reigle became ill, another employee on a different floor soon began exhibiting the same symptoms. Tests were conducted, and dangerous black mold was found throughout the building, requiring immediate evacuation.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Reigle’s group was readying for its annual gathering, a major event including a convention, golf outing and a whole lot of activities in between.

According to Reigle, if she hadn’t had support from CyberFortress, they wouldn’t have been able to continue work, and the event would have been in jeopardy. Instead, staff simply picked up their laptops and went remote, and with a mirror image of the server at the ready, it was as if they were in their office. Members never noticed a glitch, and with CyberFortress continuing daily backups, a restore was easily and quickly made at their new headquarters.

“It was amazing, we never missed a beat.” said Reigle. “And it would hardly be the last time CyberFortress saved the day.”

Fired Up

Fast forward two years to 2015, Reigle and her team were at their new headquarters, a modern facility with multiple tenants. This time, NUCA PA was in the midst of its annual Legislative Day, in which members come to the capital to meet with Reigle and talk over key issues with legislators, ranging from utility infrastructure to cost-savings for municipalities.

After an exhausting day that had Reigle and team working well into the evening, all went home, expecting to return to the office the next morning for follow up activities and tie up loose ends. Reigle, however, had her slumber interrupted by a call from building management. A fire caused by another tenant had left the office covered in soot. It was completely unusable.

Again, Reigle and the NUCA PA simply fired up their laptops, and CyberFortress’ services provided everything they needed to get back up and running without any noticeable delays.

“I remember when I started looking for someone to backup our office data in the cloud,” recalled Reigle. “It was a new approach and people didn’t entirely trust it. But I told the Board of Directors: ‘If there’s ever a fire, you’re going to be glad we did this. If we rely solely on weekly tape backups, too much data is going to be lost.’ They gave me the greenlight, and CyberFortress has been with us ever since.”

Beating Ransomware – Twice

Yet, despite two disasters, Reigle and the NUCA PA weren’t done with threats. This time, the company was targeted by ransomware, twice. In fact, the second attempt came exactly a year later, introduced by a staffer clicking on a malicious link. Not only were resources frozen, the malware attacked their Dropbox, moving into the National office’s as well, impeding vital functions like file sharing.

“I refused to pay the ransom when I believed we had perfectly good backups from the day before – and that proved true,” added Reigle. “CyberFortress quickly restored our data and got us up-and-running the same day on both occasions. Minimizing our downtime alone has made them very cost-effective.”

Trust is a Must

Reigle highlights that her relationship with CyberFortress has been trouble free. In particular, she cites technicians as being particularly responsive and good at what they do, addressing all questions and simplifying processes. Her laptop even has a customized interface enabling easy monitoring and double checking of backups.

“We know CyberFortress will always be there, they’ve demonstrated it,” added Reigle. “Our relationship is built on trust. They’re always there and never fail to deliver five-star service.”

Company:

NUCA | Pennsylvania

Location:

Harrisburg, PA

Website:

www.nucapa.org

Business:

Voice of the region’s utility industry
contractors

Challenge:

Keeping member services up and running amidst a building evacuation, fire and two ransomware attacks

Solution:

CyberFortress backup, restore and recovery

Benefits:

Same day recovery, fast resumption of operations, and continuation of member services with no noticeable delay

“It was amazing, we never missed a beat .”
– BRENDA REIGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUCA PA

And it would hardly be the last time CyberFortress saved the day.”
– BRENDA REIGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUCA PA

If we rely solely on weekly tape backups, too much data is going to be lost.’ They gave me the greenlight, and CyberFortress has been with us ever since.
– BRENDA REIGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUCA PA

“I refused to pay the ransom when I believed we had perfectly good backups from the day before – and that proved true.”
– BRENDA REIGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUCA PA

“CyberFortress quickly restored our data and got us up-and-running the same day on both occasions. Minimizing our downtime alone has made them very cost-effective.”
– BRENDA REIGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUCA PA

Contact Us

Talk with an expert today about our data recovery and backup solutions. Give us a call  at 855-223-9322 or email our team at [email protected]
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