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Background

This major Ohio city is a large government organization employing over 6500 across multiple municipalities. To serve its citizens the organization operates a large communications network, consisting of local area network (LAN) switching and wide area network (WAN) links to remote offices. To maximize processing speeds and business continuity, the City’s Department of Technology (DoT) operates a virtual server infrastructure, with a disaster recovery site and key servers replicated between main offices.

The Challenge

The CIO at the Department of Technology (DoT), heads up a large team consisting of hundreds of IT support employees, engineers developers and project managers.

The City’s Department of Technology executives must assure their citizens that all precautions are taken when it comes to securing files, documents and applications.

DoT executives cite the issues of ensuring sensitive data traversing through their comprehensive network remains properly secured and that personnel is utilizing City computing resources in a manner that complies with City policy at all times. For example, DoT executives were aware that particular users were accessing email and other applications not consistent with City policy. Once IID was installed, DoT executives were able to definitively conclude that packet analyzers and VoIP listening devices were discovered on several laptops. Such highly specialized software is restricted to those administrators and users that have the required access rights. DoT executives must assure their citizens that all precautions are taken when it comes to securing files, documents and applications. DoT also wanted to combat the risk posed by the use of personal USB devices or any other removable media, which could be lost or stolen.

Removable devices have been known to infect corporate networks with viruses and worms, such as Conficker.

The CIO states, “We really needed to get a clear picture of the user activities that were being generated through our network. We wanted to be able to detect when any sensitive file, directory or application was being moved to an external media source. Our intellectual property is very important to us. As an example, our new mobile application is highly innovative and required much development talent, hardware/software resources and budget. We must protect our IP at all costs.” DoT has relied on various tools and network operating system-based techniques to get the required detail into the users’ activities at the file and directory level. The IT team found that with current tools, they lacked the necessary visibility to make quick decisions when suspect events are detected.

The Solution

In 2011, the Intelligent ID software system was chosen to provide user activity management for the enterprise.

When installed on desktops, laptops and servers, Intelligent ID was able to manage and monitor every device connection, keystroke, application, website and input/output on that machine.

After an initial pilot, the City’s DoT decided to migrate to the Intelligent ID software to protect the remaining workstations. “The flexibility of the rule sets and the ability to monitor all use of devices and any transfer of files to removable storage media were key reasons for selecting Intelligent ID,” reports DoT. “The fact that we were able to create a clear audit trail of all user activity from any device and prevent any unauthorized use has helped us to immediately comply with our strict IT security policy”.

Ease of Implementation

DoT reports that it took two working weeks to implement Intelligent ID. “The installation of the software was swift. It then took a few days to configure our rule sets and test to ensure that they were correct,” says DoT. Because the software tracks every mouse movement and keystroke, it is extremely interactive and helps our IT managers to adjust rules and policies in direct response to the way that employees use company devices and applications. As a result, security is maximized without interrupting legitimate workflows. When asked about the key benefits of this new endpoint security solution, DoT cites the ease of use of the Intelligent ID console and the fact that DoT management are immediately sent an SMS or email message if a user tries to break or subvert the organization’s policy. “Our current solution did not include the low level details we needed. When you looked at the report it didn’t mean much and it didn’t send alerts. The Intelligent ID central management console is a lot easier to use and has clarified our view of what is happening on our network.

The Benefits

DoT reports that the key benefits of Intelligent ID include gaining clear visibility of all users and devices and ensuring that citizenry data is protected, monitored and managed. If an event or events occur that seek to cause damage, it is immediately identified, alerted on and remedied before it can negatively impact the organization. The CIO adds that the IID solution allows his IT team to manage and monitor the data that is coming into and out of their network, reassuring his executive team that they are compliant with established City policies governing information security.
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