City of Fullerton Executes a Holistic Content Security Plan
Egnyte’s cloud-based platform empowers the City to detect sensitive data, anomalies, and ransomware, and ensure files are shared securely.
Highlights for City of Fullerton
430 active Egnyte users across multiple city departments
Top-notch security and governance
Granular access controls
One-week migration of all data from local server into Egnyte
“Egnyte gives us the confidence that City workers can access files from various devices, share them internally and externally, and meet the needs of a modern workplace, all without compromising on security.”
Chief Technology Officer • City of Fullerton
Cybersecurity and content governance are paramount when managing a city –something the government of Fullerton, a city in Southern California with over 140,000 residents, understands well.
After switching from an on-premises file server to Egnyte’s cloud-hosted system, the City has gained critical visibility into the content lifecycle, with the assurance that sensitive data stored across various city departments is restricted to the proper stakeholders.
Challenge: Strengthen Data Security with Cloud Technology
Like any city government, the City of Fullerton is responsible for managing and safeguarding a wealth of highly sensitive information. “The City’s databases include people’s PII, HIPAA data, payment card, industry data, and more,” says Marty Miller, Chief Technology Officer at Glass Box Technology, an IT provider hired by the City. “As just one example, the Police Department regularly gets involved with subpoenas, which involve a lot of personal information.”
To store this information, the City was using an on-premises Windows file server that lacked critical features around security and governance. Miller’s team wanted more confidence in their ability to track the City’s data or share it with internal and external parties securely. “Our goal is to understand, across various city departments and external stakeholders, when sensitive data has been loaded onto the platform, where exactly it’s stored, and who has access,” explains Miller. “The legacy system didn’t give us this information. It also didn’t have any sort of content controls to prevent inappropriate disclosure.”
To gain the level of control necessary to maintain a strong security posture, all signs pointed to the cloud. Miller’s team began reviewing cloud-based alternatives to their on-premises server, including Dropbox and OneDrive, but none of them met the team’s needs. “In each system we looked at, the controls we needed were either lacking or required complex rule-writing to set up,” Miller says.
Solution: Replace On-Premises File Server with Egnyte
The team began looking into Egnyte, focusing specifically on Egnyte’s sensitive data and anomaly detection capabilities. “Our question was: Do we have information in our environment that shouldn’t be there, like credit card numbers or social security numbers?” says Miller.
To find out, the team moved a subset of their data into Egnyte and ran Egnyte’s sensitive data and anomaly detection features against it. The system quickly found numerous instances of the kind of data Miller was looking for, indicated who had uploaded that data and when, and displayed a measurement of the City’s risk level based on the findings. “That was proof that Egnyte could give us the visibility we wanted,” Miller explains.
With the success of the test run, the team decided Egnyte would be the perfect cloud-hosted replacement for their on-premises server. Miller describes implementing the system and migrating data to the new environment as stress-free. “The implementation was really straightforward. It took maybe four weeks to prep, and just a week to migrate the entire organization.”
Once the system was in place, Glass Box brought in Aaron Fry to serve as Chief Technology Officer and oversee IT operations citywide. Fry was immediately impressed with Egnyte’s capabilities not just in sensitive data and anomaly detection, but in ransomware detection as well. “If someone moves or deletes a large number of files, or if there’s a ransomware signal, not only does an alert appear on our dashboard, but our security team gets a notification,” Fry explains. “Those alerts automatically feed into our help desk ticketing system so the team can track and investigate.”
Secure content sharing was another critical capability that set Egnyte apart. Egnyte allowed the team to provision access to specific files and folders to specific individuals, or to set access permissions based on parameters such as role or title. The team could then share files to the appropriate stakeholders via secure links or by sending invitations to collaborate. “Egnyte provides a really simple process for external sharing,” Miller explains. “We just have to set up an external folder and make the appropriate person the owner of that folder, which enables them to invite others to collaborate securely on the documents.”
“Police, Fire, HR, City Manager’s Office, Parks and Rec, and lots of other departments are all using Egnyte. It feels more modern to them than what they were using before...and they enjoy working with it.”
Chief Technology Director • Glass Box Technology
Benefits: Clear Oversight and Control over Sensitive Content
With its data in the cloud, where it’s subject to Egnyte’s Secure and Govern features and access controls, the City has gained confidence that its environment is safe and properly managed. “We can now find and remove prohibited data from the system in a heartbeat. And if we see other sensitive and protected data in the system, we don’t fret,” Miller says. “We can see exactly where it is and who put it there and know that we have the security features in place to make sure only the right people have access.”
The improvement over their old on-premises system is stark. “Without a properly configured, sanctioned, centralized tool like Egnyte, and the content controls and Secure and Govern features it offers, there would be much less security in the way people store and share content,” comments Fry. “Egnyte gives us the confidence that City workers can access files from various devices, share them internally and externally, and meet the needs of a modern workplace, all without compromising on security.”
“People can even conduct these workflows outside of the office,” adds Miller. “If a Department Head or someone from the Police Department is out with an iPad, they can just hit their Okta dashboard, click the tile, and access their data in Egnyte.”
For the workers’ part, their experience with Egnyte has been purely positive. “There was no resistance from the team. Egnyte feels more modern to them than what they were using before, and they appreciate that,” says Miller. “Police, Fire, HR, City Manager’s Office, Parks and Rec, and lots of other departments are all using it. It’s part of their day-to-day and they enjoy working with it.”
Egnyte has proven so reliable that Fry and Miller are now looking to establish it with the State of California as a trusted system – that is, one that can store and preserve the content loaded into it with no unauthorized alteration of the source files. This would allow the City to free up space currently dedicated to storing paper documents. “It’s a testament to the level of control Egnyte gives us over the integrity of our data, as well as the ability to know that everything we need is right where it should be,” says Fry. “It’s truly invaluable.”