“Operational efficiency is the major emphasis and advantage with our product,” he says. “Not only is our solution easy to deploy (less than two hours), but it requires little maintenance and automatically syncs with Active Directory. Also, since the solution is completely out of band, there is little to no risk for deployment, as it can't impact critical systems or cause network outages and no systems need re-addressing.”
The end result is a platform which provides greater cap-ex savings and substantially reduced operational costs, Gohstand says. “Frost & Sullivan found our solution to be 70 percent less expensive per year than internal firewalls, which provide a fraction of the functionality and compensating controls of PacketSentry.”
McRae says he and his team are pleased with the deployment, citing the PacketMotion engineer who came in to help with the implementation for his help in getting the tool up and running on Richmond's systems.
“PacketSentry is very easy to manage and operate,” he adds. “Searches that could have easily taken hours in the past now take minutes. It is doing a great job of meeting expectations.”
As far as meeting compliance requirements, McRae says his team does not currently have any compliance regulations that they are audited against. However, he says they try to adhere to the best practices set by the Center for Internet Security, a nonprofit whose mission is to enhance the cybersecurity readiness and response of public and private sector entities and to encourage collaboration.
At this point, Richmond is using PacketSentry to monitor and control access to assets within its primary data center only. And, McRae says there are no plans to expand the implementation.
But, threats to the network have not slowed down. “In the past, we primarily focused on keeping threats out of the city,” says McRae. “However, more recently we are working to shore up our internal security to combat threats, such as trojans, which make it into the city and cause problems from within.”
Furthermore, he and his team are seeing an increased desire to use personal devices to connect to the city's network. “We are also using contractors for major initiatives. Ensuring security while providing people increased capabilities can be challenging.”