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How managed services help keep local governments secure

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There is a common challenge among local government IT organizations: deliver more services with the same, or fewer, resources. Whether the challenge is providing greater connectivity for local schools and libraries or better Wi-Fi access for residents, there are often significant budgetary constraints on IT’s ability to expand its services in a way that both satisfies the needs of residents and keeps their hardware and data secure.

For Michael Esolda, CIO for Woodbridge Township Municipal Government andDYNTEK WOODBRIDGE Article_Page_1.png School District in Woodbridge, N.J., securing the services his team delivers is a major priority. But due to budgetary constraints, it’s rare to find a local government with a dedicated security practitioner. That’s where managed services, such as those offered by DynTek, can help fill the gaps by stretching resources and budgets to so local governments can meet evolving cybersecurity threats. 

The IT team provides services to more than 60 buildings in the community with a private fiber network, and Esolda estimates they’re responsible for securing approximately 20,000 devices, including many Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) devices. It’s no surprise he says his biggest challenges are budgeting, cybersecurity and education.

Visibility means security

Although it operates what is essentially a private network, the team is looking to create more visibility into their network traffic, with the end-goal of potentially using more cloud services.

“We want to see what traffic is coming into our network and we want to be able to drill down,” Esolda said. “We want to be able to see a cybersecurity issue that’s occurring at a particular building, or for example, even with a particular student’s device and we can’t afford to spend all day resolving the issue because it could bring our network down.”

Staying up to date with security is essential and Esolda and team are planning to improve their visibility by building a dashboard of new and recent threats. Esolda said with more connected devices with IP addresses, the tools they need are the ones that make them more efficient and allow them to stay ahead of threats like ransomware.

The benefits of sharing information

While visibility is essential to keeping systems secure, information sharing between local governments is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining security. It’s important because if a cyberattack is successful on one municipality, it’s likely the attack will be attempted against other local governments and departments. Groups such as the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), will publish threat intelligence information that outlines the anatomy of different types of attacks found in the community. 

Leveraging shared resources such as the MS-ISAC, along with implementing managed services are critical components needed to keep networks secure and stretch IT resources by creating efficiencies and cost savings.

For an in-depth look at Woodbridge Township’s cybersecurity leadership, download the full story.