County of Orange Improves Communication and Collaboration, Reduces Spam, and Saves Taxpayer Dollars

The three million residents of the third-largest county in the United States, County of Orange, California, are supported by an efficiently-run local government that emphasizes cooperation, data sharing and collaboration across the entire county enterprise. Although there are many separate agencies within the county government, the county itself has a federated organizational structure, and individual agencies are encouraged to work together to solve problems. In all, the county has 18,000 employees, with additional outsourcing vendors bringing the total number of on-site staff to over 23,000.

This county prides itself on using continual process improvement and taking full advantage of cutting-edge technology to improve the lives of its citizens. The County of Orange’s information technology infrastructure has been recognized as a model of efficiency, and has been acknowledged by the Center for Digital Government and Governing Magazine for excellence in information management.

Scaleable and comprehensive email security
Managing a large county organization with multiple agencies is a challenging mission, and to Tony Lucich, CISO at the County of Orange Office of Information Technology, security is a major concern. With so many people accessing the network, a fully integrated security solution with an enterprise focus was absolutely essential. In addition, with so many employees, the County of Orange (County) saw a tremendous need to provide for secure remote access. The County had also seen a dramatic increase in spam email, which resulted in higher email administration and server costs.

And, with more people moving to the County of Orange every day, scalability figured highly into the decision-making process as well. “We didn’t want to have to deal with managing multiple boxes strung together,” says Lucich. “We needed a big-picture solution to deal with the large increase we’ve seen in spam and virus threats.”

Lucich’s IT team evaluated several vendors in their effort to find a comprehensive solution that would meet the County’s long list of requirements. After evaluating solutions from several other leading vendors the choice soon became clear: The County chose McAfee’s Network Security Business Unit (formerly Secure Computing).

"McAfee’s line of fully integrated solutions protects the County of Orange from both internal and external dangers, allowing my staff to focus on managing security instead of constantly reacting to threats."

Tony Lucich
CISO, County of Orange

Compatible solutions and low manage- ment overhead
Thanks to McAfee’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) approach, management overhead is kept to a minimum, and all solutions are fully compatible. The County leverages the fact that all of McAfee’s solutions work together seamlessly. The County deployed a unified set of products including McAfee Firewall Enterprise Edition (Sidewinder), McAfee Email Gateway (IronMail), and Secure Web Gateway (Webwasher), all enhanced with the reputation-based security of McAfee TrustedSource. The County has seen complete, integrated protection against all inbound threats, including spam, viruses, malware and other attacks, and as achieved outbound protection to guard against data leakage.

“McAfee’s line of fully integrated solutions protects the County of Orange from both internal and external dangers,” notes Lucich. “This enables my staff to focus on managing security instead of constantly reacting to threats.” In addition, Lucich found McAfee easy to deal with, having been a customer for three years. “McAfee brings top-notch products to the table at a fair price,” he adds. “And their support can’t be beat. We have a great salesman who listens to his customers’ requests, and always responds.”

“Due to the high volume and critical uptime requirements, we leverage multiple McAfee security devices,” says Lucich. “They provide one of the most critical applications in the CEOIT’s infrastructure, and our expectations have been far exceeded in over three years of our business relationship.”

Vast improvement in spam filtering
The County added TrustedSource technology to its McAfee Firewall Enterprise Edition and saw a dramatic reduction in the amount of spam email. Currently, the combination firewall and TrustedSource solution stops 97 percent of all email entering the county’s network, which TrustedSource correctly identifies as spam.

“Based on our own first-hand experience, companies that integrate the TrustedSource module into their existing load balancers, firewalls or other technologies are going to see a vast improvement in their spam filtering,” says Lucich. “This technology, along with Email Gateway allows us to save thousands of dollars every day in lower email administration costs; dramatically reduces the need to buy additional servers to process increased mail volumes; and saves us an estimated $42,000 a day in employee productivity that would otherwise be lost to dealing with spam.”

“The solution was architecturally simple and complete, and provided us with end-to-end security using advanced technology and very good depth of support,” notes Lucich. Addressing multiple threat vectors, the integrated McAfee implementation incorporated anti-spam, anti-virus, threat protection, email filtering and encryption, data protection, and Web filtering. “Our users depend upon reliable, state-of-the-art technology in order to do the County’s business,” concludes Lucich. “The combination of products and services provided by McAfee allows us to provide anywhere, anytime access to business-critical applications and data.”

County of Orange, California

Customer Profile

Third-largest county in the United States

Industry

Local Government

IT environment

The County of Orange has 18,000 employees. With outsourced vendors, the total number of on-site staff is over 23,000.

Challenges

The County of Orange needs to control the increasing volume of spam and virus threats with a fully integrated, scalable solution that is easy to deploy and manage.

McAfee solution

  • McAfee Firewall Enterprise Edition (formally Sidewinder)
  • McAfee Email Gateway (formally IronMail)
  • McAfee Web Gateway (formally Webwasher)

Results

  • Provides unified threat management and integration between all products, enabling an end-to-end solution with enterpriseclass security
  • 97% of email correctly identified as spam and dropped at edge of the network