The City of Kenosha Embraces Cloud-Based Security

Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. It’s located on the shores of Lake Michigan, between Chicago and Milwaukee, and is home to more than 100,000 residents. The local government consists of 300 full-time employees spread across 13 locations including fire and police departments, museums, water utilities, and parks and recreation facilities.

More Security, Fewer Resources
The City of Kenosha depends heavily on a three-person IT department to protect its network and provide mission-critical applications to 300+ workstations. “As we have become more and more dependent on the Internet for communications, we’ve had a growing need for tools to protect our network from malware delivered via email or malicious websites,” said Tig Kerkman, IT Systems Engineer for the City of Kenosha. “Just like many local governments, our IT personnel are doing more with fewer resources.”

An Integrated, Cloud-Based Security Solution
To meet its security requirements, the City of Kenosha relies on McAfee Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) Email Protection and Continuity and McAfee SaaS Web Protection. “The McAfee system provides us with a single, integrated solution for our email security and encryption, web security, desktops, and file servers. It’s highly effective, and removes the burden from our team to maintain and update security software and hardware on-premises,” Kerkman said. “Since we use open source solutions, we appreciate that McAfee is an agnostic solution that protects any system in our multiplatform environment.”

A Single Point of Control for All Email and Web Traffic
McAfee SaaS solutions act as a gatekeeper for all of the City of Kenosha’s email and web transactions, blocking suspicious emails before they ever enter the network. At the same time, the system’s web filters ensure that employees are blocked from accessing dangerous websites or those that violate city policy. This gives Kenosha the ability to categorize web filtering according to the type of site. “We defined a social networking filter that blocks access to Facebook and other such sites,” Kerkman explained. “I can control the filters remotely from any location though the McAfee SecurityCenter dashboard.”

According to Kerkman, “The network has not been taken down by an email attack since the city adopted the McAfee solution.” As a hosted service, the system updates, behind the scenes, with the latest malware definitions. “In the event that an employee launches a virus by opening a malicious email, McAfee catches and neutralizes threats before I’m even aware of them,” he said. “It’s great peace of mind to know that the system is working 24/7 in the background to stop threats before they can do any damage—McAfee support is absolutely top-notch.”

“With its excellent support, flexibility, and openness, the McAfee SaaS solution really is unique in the marketplace.”

Tig Kerkman,
IT Systems Engineer

Intelligent Routing Streamlines Mail Delivery
Another valuable tool for the city is the McAfee Intelligent Routing feature, which automatically routes filtered email to four different domains in the organization. “With McAfee Intelligent Routing, we have one spot to add all our users, and it does the job of sending mail to the proper site for us,” Kerkman stated. “It’s a really valuable feature because it’s such a timesaver for our team. McAfee is the only vendor that offers it.”

Email Continuity During Network Outages
“Maintaining email continuity is critical for our IT department because we support many vital services for our citizens. We know that McAfee will keep the email flowing even if we lose connectivity,” Kerkman said. In the event of a network outage, he can access the McAfee SaaS service from any location and switch the service to an alternate Internet Protocol (IP) address. McAfee Intelligent Routing will continue to deliver filtered emails to the new address with no loss of data.

“With no hardware to buy, no software to install, and automatic updates to protect us against the latest threats, we can focus on our mission—to serve the citizens of Kenosha.”

Tig Kerkman,
IT Systems Engineer

Near-Zero Cost of Ownership
The tremendous cost savings from a cloud-based solution is especially cost-effective for the City of Kenosha. To accomplish the same level of protection with a hardware-based, on-premises solution, the city would have needed to install appliances at each of the 13 government sites. In addition, Kerkman and his team would have to proactively manage and update each appliance. This is a daunting and time-consuming task for any small IT team.

“By paying only a monthly subscription, we have virtually no cost of ownership with the McAfee SaaS solution,” Kerkman remarked. “In addition to the huge cost savings, we also get a web interface that lets us dynamically configure and change the service from any location. With McAfee, we’ve broken the hardware cycle.”

Flexible Business Models
As a local government, the City of Kenosha needed to create two different groups for employees logging onto the system remotely, with different access and monitoring based on their job functions. “Without increasing our subscription fee, McAfee provided an additional IP and the ability to split our employee access into two separate access paths,” Kerkman said. “This degree of flexibility is hard to find in the managed-service industry.”

As a government agency, the city is required to tender contracts out to competitive bidding. “McAfee is always willing to work with us and offers the best-possible deal, even with a growing number of users on a fixed budget,” Kerkman stated. “With its excellent support, flexibility, and openness, the McAfee SaaS solution really is unique in the marketplace.”

A Valuable Partnership
Despite a limited budget and staff, the City of Kenosha has found a way to provide its citizens with the highest level of protection through a cloud-based security solution that truly works.

“Our job is to give our employees the tools they need to do their jobs,” Kerkman explained. “McAfee understands this, which is why their partnership is so valuable.”

City of Kenosha

Customer profile

City government serving 100,000 citizens

Industry

Local government

IT environment

450 users working in 13 separate locations, with Internet connectivity and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Challenge

Limited budget and staff to protect a distributed network and employees from email and web-related malware

McAfee solution

  • McAfee SaaS Email Protection and Continuity
  • McAfee SaaS Web Protection

Results

  • Comprehensive protection from the latest email- and Internet-borne malware
  • Low cost through cloud-based, subscription services
  • IT team is freed from burden of installing, updating, and maintaining hardware and software