Since 2007, Awaq ONGD has been working toward a mission of creating a more sustainable and harmonious relationship between people and the environment. They seek to identify and implement alternative, eco-friendly economic models, with a principal focus on Colombia.

Underpinning this work is data — an endless stream of it. In order to develop strategies to fight climate change, launch programs, and measure performance, Awaq ONGD needs to be able to analyze data from its Biological Stations and facilitate collaboration among experts. At these Biological Stations, scientists collect data and work on projects related to reforestation, species conservation, biodiversity monitoring, and environmental education.

Making an impact with biodiversity data

Ensuring reliable and secure access to that data has been a challenge, however. Before joining Project Galileo, Awaq ONGD’s website was targeted by DDoS attacks and malicious bots, and the organization suffered downtime on several occasions. According to Director of Cybersecurity Nicolás Morgado, a security breach further disrupted operations when an attacker gained access to Awaq ONGD’s network, and the fallout required setting up security services from scratch as an additional precaution.

Technology serves a key role in several of their latest projects:

  • Expansion of Biological Stations: The group is entering new regions, including a station in the Caldas region of Colombia.
  • Implementation of the Puerta de Tarcará Biotourism Corridor: Awaq ONGD's flagship project aims to connect several municipalities in Caldas through a conservation corridor that will promote ecological tourism and empower local communities while simultaneously combating soil overuse, deforestation, and climate change.
  • Launch of BioMonitors: This mobile application makes it easier for field monitors to collect biodiversity data that subsequently feeds into conservation decisions.
  • Establishment of the Centro de Tecnología Ambiental (CTA): This platform manages the ingestion, processing, and visualization of data collected by field monitors.

Notes Morgado, “Our web presence is paramount to fulfilling Awaq ONGD's mission and ensuring seamless operations. It serves as a central platform for communicating our initiatives, engaging stakeholders, and sharing resources related to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.”

The organization relies on its online presence to raise awareness about environmental issues, mobilize support for action, and reach potential partners, donors, and community members.

Addressing top security concerns

Morgado’s team’s priorities revolve around protecting sensitive data, maintaining the integrity of their systems and platforms, and defending against evolving threats. After joining Project Galileo, Awaq ONGD quickly got started with the program’s security, performance, and reliability tools.

According to Morgado, “Cloudflare's Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDoS protection, bot management tools, and real-time threat intelligence helped us detect and mitigate malicious activities more effectively. As a result, we've experienced fewer cyber attacks, improved website performance and reliability, and enhanced overall security posture.”

He also notes that analytics from the dashboard have provided the visibility necessary for decision-making related to security and performance.

Morgado and his team appreciate that through Project Galileo, they receive free access to these tools. “It not only helps us save on cyber security expenses but also provides us with the financial flexibility to allocate those resources toward our core mission of fighting climate change,” Morgado says.

Moving forward

Much of Awaq ONGD’s security strategy centers on building trust with stakeholders, partners, and communities. Morgado and his team are taking steps to ensure that communities, partners, and stakeholders have reliable access to accurate data. With the Cloudflare global network, CDN, and load balancing, they have improved site loading times and created a better user experience.

Concludes Morgado, “Project Galileo's services are not just integral but absolutely indispensable to our organization's operations. They go beyond enhancing website performance, security, scalability, and reliability—they are the very backbone that enables us to exist and thrive in the digital world.

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    Our web presence is paramount to fulfilling Awaq ONGD's mission and ensuring seamless operations.

    Nicolás Morgado
    Director of Cybersecurity

    Project Galileo's services are not just integral but absolutely indispensable to our organization's operations.

    Nicolás Morgado
    Director of Cybersecurity