A Proactive Stance Against Cyberattacks
- Tyler Detect identifies risky behavior on the city’s entire network 24/7.
- Collaboration with Tyler’s cybersecurity experts helps the Sunrise team gain valuable insight into their infrastructure.
A Probable Target
It is estimated that the majority of all publicized ransomware attacks in the United States this past year targeted local governments.
“As a tourist-friendly city in South Florida welcoming several million visitors each year, we know we are a target for ransomware,” said Laurie Gagner, information technology director at the city of Sunrise. Cybercriminals are opportunistic and look for the easiest way to gain access to networks, including targeting your people with social engineering techniques and scanning for unpatched vulnerabilities they can exploit.
“My goal is to do all that we can to be proactive in our efforts against cybercriminals,” affirms Gagner. “When it comes to protecting our city’s systems and data, I try to keep us off the radar as much as possible.”
Consequently, Gagner’s cybersecurity defense strategy has multiple layers. Teaching end users how to recognize fraud and follow best practices is key, and they engage in security awareness trainings multiple times a year. The city is also building a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan, so they can recover and restore operations as soon as possible if necessary.
Most recently, Gagner added Tyler Detect™, a managed threat detection service from Tyler Technologies to their arsenal. “Protecting our data is an everyday focus,” explains Gagner. “Finding the right tool, like Tyler Detect, is an essential part of our strategy.”
She’s purposely not sharing all the precautions they have in place, but they are constantly making improvements to harden the security of Sunrise’s network. “Yes, it’s an investment in time and dollars, but it’s way less costly than being forced to react after something bad happens,” states Gagner.
Peace of Mind With Tyler Detect
Sunrise became a Tyler client about five years ago, procuring the Munis® financial, Energov™ land management, and document management suites, and was excited to learn about Tyler’s cybersecurity solutions. The city hosted one of the first Cybersecurity Summits presented by the Tyler team. According to Gagner, “It was really beneficial to hear from the experts and to talk to other agencies with the same concerns at the summits.”
The city deployed Tyler Detect shortly thereafter. Tyler Detect is a log-monitoring and threat-hunting solution that puts the task of identifying network threats in the hands of cybersecurity experts. Cyber threats are found and confirmed, and clients are notified within minutes 24/7.
“We are VERY happy with the results so far,” said Gagner. “Having trusted humans monitoring our logs in real time is invaluable.” It was this human monitoring that detected a potential brute force attack on the city’s mail server in early 2020. “Tyler handled the situation swiftly and kept us informed every step of the way with detailed information so we could contain the activity before it created any issues.”
The Sunrise network team is learning more about their infrastructure than ever before through collaborating with the Tyler Detect team. Information provided through daily reports and the user portal has enabled them to proactively lock down areas that were making them vulnerable to threats.
“Probably the best value we found using Tyler Detect is that it is monitoring MORE than just our ERP environment,” adds Gagner. “It monitors everything on our network!”
Interactions with the Tyler Detect team confirm that Tyler’s solution and resources were the best choice among the growing landscape of cybersecurity vendors. According to Gagner, “They are all very knowledgeable, professional, and persistent in tracking us down to address potential issues as soon as possible. That’s why they have a stellar track record. It gives me peace of mind in knowing that we have Tyler Detect as part of our proactive, IT Security portfolio.”