City of Melville Safeguards Email and Resident Services With Proofpoint

The Challenge
  • Protect City offices and residents from phishing, malware and other threats
  • Speed response time to zero-day threats
  • Update security to support evolving threat landscape
The Solution
  • Proofpoint Email Protection
  • Targeted Attack Protection
  • Threat Response
  • Security Awareness Training
  • Proofpoint Professional Services
The Results
  • Dynamic security protects City operations from the latest threats
  • Reporting capabilities help administrators optimise strategy
  • Flexible solution enables IT to quickly adapt to change

The Challenge

Provide resident services while minimising threat risks

Like most public sector organisations, the City of Melville depends on its IT infrastructure to serve its residents, local businesses, and community groups. Its IT team supports more than 700 employees who are responsible for broad range of community-focused services. These range from libraries, recreation, parks, roads and drainage to records management, administration and more.

As organisations have embraced an increasingly hybrid workplace, the evolving threat landscape has impacted government and business sectors of all kinds. And the City of Melville is no exception. Over the past year, phishing has emerged as the top threat, as well as malware attacks such as Dridex. Attackers have targeted both elected councillors and administrative staff at all levels. This puts its operations and sensitive public data at risk.

“As a government agency, our senior staff and councillors were identified to be particularly at risk due to their public visibility,” said Mal Duncan, manager of ICT, at the City of Melville. “Anybody with malicious intent can narrow down the attack vectors and know that they were likely to have more access to highly sensitive information.”

As cybersecurity threats became more sophisticated, the City realised that its existing email protection wasn’t enough. It wasn’t able to deliver the performance and responsiveness the City needed to keep pace with changing cybersecurity challenges. The City needed more robust email protection and better insight into the threat landscape. What’s more, it had to be a scalable, flexible solution that could evolve as the organisation changed.

“In the past, we might see a potential issue emerge, and it might be up to 24 hours before we could determine whether it was good or bad,” said Duncan. “That left us exposed for far too long. We needed to respond faster to zero-day attacks. We were also seeking a partner with a global presence, so that if something happened in Europe, we would have several hours to catch up before it hit our shores.”

“Considering I have a small team, the number one benefit of Proofpoint is that it just works. If you have a high level of protection and a high level of confidence in protection, you’re not spending your time fiddling around changing and updating things.”

Mal Duncan, Manager of ICT, City of Melville

The Solution

Proofpoint keeps pace with changing priorities

The City of Melville turned to its technology partner, Lumen IT, to help keep pace with its increasingly complex challenges. This privately-owned IT solutions provider brings more than 30 years of experience providing innovative, dependable solutions for its customers. Lumen IT recommended a comprehensive solution featuring Proofpoint Email Protection. Designed to capture both known and unknown threats, cloud-compatible Proofpoint Email Protection uses advanced machine learning technology to block malware and non-malware email threats, such as email fraud. It also helps the organisation gain insight into threat risks for individuals across its organisation. This allows for better awareness and more proactive planning.

Proofpoint Email Protection gives the City a wide range of capabilities, including virus protection, spam detection, email authentication, and email firewall. Its Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) lets the organisation detect threats early in the attack chain, using machine learning to observe the patterns, behaviours and techniques used in each attack.

Lumen IT worked closely with the Proofpoint Professional Services organisation to ensure deployment of the solution was fast and straightforward.

“The Professional Services calls were great,” said Duncan. “Proofpoint and City staff collaborated effectively to provide us with the desired outcome with minimal fuss.”

The Results

Improved security for a people-centric strategy

With Proofpoint in place, the City of Melville solution can apply the latest advanced protection to safeguard online communications. At the same time, it can improve awareness of security within its own organisation.

Proofpoint Email Protection and TAP have proven highly effective at discovering and capturing a broad range of threats. A recent quarterly report covering 1.4 million inbound emails revealed more than 1.1 million known threats based on sender reputation and 55,000 threats based on content. This includes phishing, viruses, spam, impostors, and other concerns. The highly accurate solution also stopped approximately 2,000 targeted threats, including attachments and URLs.

“Since deploying Proofpoint, we haven’t had a lot of noise,” said Terence Stevens, technology cloud and infrastructure at City of Melville. “It has blocked a lot of spam and a lot of phish, and other unwanted emails.”

Proofpoint TAP has demonstrated great performance in stopping threats prior to delivery, providing 98.9% protection against all malicious messages. This includes 100% of attachment threats and imposter threats.

“Prior to TAP, mitigating these threats after they have been delivered was a very lengthy process,” said Duncan. “We would have to determine which users the threat had been delivered to, contact each user, then try and pull it out of the mailboxes manually. Our support time and effort has dropped dramatically from where it had been before.”

The Proofpoint solution also provides ongoing reporting. This makes it easier for Duncan and his team to gain at-a-glance insight into the City’s overall security posture.

“The reporting is a great feature, showing us what’s happening across the organisation,” said Duncan. “I get a series of daily reports out saying what’s happening across our firewall and Proofpoint. I don’t always have time to login to the admin console to investigate every issue, but the topline report alerts me about potential issues, and I can give a nudge to my team to be sure they are on top of them.”

Technical support has been highly effective at keeping the solution consistently running at its best.

“Our security is a lot more seamless than it was in the past, and things just happen a lot more smoothly,” said Duncan. “If we do have a support request, with Proofpoint, the response has been very competent, with a quick turnaround timeframe.”

To provide ongoing support and assist the organisation with continually optimising its solution, Proofpoint also provides quarterly business reviews. These security strategy updates evaluate the current threat landscape, assess the performance of the solution, and consider technology enhancements. The ongoing Proofpoint recommendations and Professional Services also free up time for network administrators to focus on other tasks.

“What’s really amazing about the quarterly reviews is that they provide us with detailed suggestions that specify exactly what we need to do,” said Stevens. “Our workload has dropped considerably after going to Proofpoint.”

Proofpoint and Lumen IT are building on their partnership with the City of Melville to continue to enhance its solution. And they’re educating end users with best practices to foster a safer, more informed environment well into the future.

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