City of Las Vegas utilises BitDam ATP to protect from advanced cyberthreats

City of Las Vegas utilises BitDam ATP to protect from advanced cyberthreats

The City of Las Vegas is utilising BitDam ATP to protect from advanced cyberthreats across collaboration platforms and against bad actors aiming to penetrate its network. Since then, it has dramatically reduced its risk of being a victim to cyberthreats such as ransomware, malware, phishing and zero-day attacks, and saved millions of dollars in remediation of such incidents.

Michael Lee Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Las Vegas, is constantly looking for additional ways to protect the city. “In cybersecurity, nothing’s ever enough. There’s always more you can do,” he explained.
In late 2018, he decided to add another protection layer to the secure city’s email, OneDrive and Teams.

The City of Las Vegas selected BitDam ATP for protection from advanced cyberattacks as it showed top detection rates with low false positive levels compared to other security products, and covered the main collaboration platforms in use by the city: O365 email, OneDrive and Teams. Hosted on Microsoft Azure, and seamlessly integrating with all Office 365 collaboration tools, BitDam allows the City of Las Vegas high flexibility and ease of deployment and use.

The city’s security team deployed BitDam ATP in 2018 and recognized the impact quickly. Within a few weeks BitDam ATP detected:
• 26 attacks that bypassed the city’s SEG
• Six unique attacks
• Two Emotet trojans

Since then, BitDam ATP has blocked dozens of ransomware, phishing and other attack types before reaching the end-users, preventing them from penetrating the city’s network. Using BitDam ATP, the City of Las Vegas has dramatically reduced its risk of being a victim to cyberthreats and saved millions of dollars in remediation of such incidents.

BitDam (which in March 2021 was acquired by Datto, a leading global provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions purpose-built for managed service providers) helps organizations around the world secure their enterprise collaboration platforms. Using BitDam ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) for Office 365 email, OneDrive and Teams, organizations are assured they get the top protection against advanced content-borne threats hidden in files and links, regardless of their type and delivery method.

Detecting attacks pre-delivery across various collaboration platforms, BitDam’s attack-agnostic cloud-based solution shows unprecedented detection rates, empowering organizations to collaborate safely.

The company uses Microsoft Azure platform as a service (PaaS) resources – including Azure Managed Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Cache for high performance and increased scalability – to protect organizations of all sizes from ransomware, phishing and other threats that other security solutions fail to uncover.

City of Las Vegas and the need for secure collaboration

In the past few years, the City of Las Vegas has relied on Office 365 – using its cloud-based email service, OneDrive and Teams – to enhance productivity and support collaboration between employees as well as external communications with citizens, vendors and partners. While these communication channels are essential, they pose a cybersecurity challenge as they also serve as potential attack vectors for bad actors aiming to penetrate the city’s network.

“Azure was a big leap for us giving up our email servers locally and move all that to the cloud. OneDrive and Teams was an even bigger leap,” said Michael Lee Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Las Vegas.

The city’s employees communicate with a wide variety of businesses and individuals, with many of them being one-time contacts. This makes them more vulnerable to attacks, as they do not know most of the contacts with whom they communicate in person.

The City of Las Vegas is comprised of more than 20 different departments, using various technological platforms, policies and processes. The IT security team serves all departments, protecting all users and endpoints.

Security is all about layers

Michael Lee Sherwood, City of Las Vegas’ Chief Innovation Officer, understands the cyber-risks associated with the increased usage of content collaboration platforms.

While the City of Las Vegas already had a Secure Email Gateway (SEG) in place, Sherwood and his team were looking for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) as an additional layer on top of the city’s existing cybersecurity solutions to make enterprise collaboration secure and ensure that end-users – the city’s thousands of employees – are safe to click any file or link that appears in their Office 365 inboxes, OneDrive accounts or Teams channels.

They wanted a cloud-native security solution that would work in harmony with Office 365 and that would be easy to deploy without affecting users’ productivity or the way in which they collaborate.

“We look at taking a layered approach, and a layered approach is using multiple products-not just one,” said Sherwood.

Protecting all collaboration channels

The City of Las Vegas started by deploying BitDam ATP for email, which showed unprecedented detection rates and clear monetary value protecting from ransomware and other malware types from day one.

BitDam scans emails pre-delivery to eliminate threats like ransomware, known and unknown malware, phishing and zero-day attacks before they enter the network.

“Deploying BitDam ATP was a five-minute task and the impact was immediate,” said Sherwood. “Once set-up, users experience almost zero latency between the time of entry to email delivery, so it was truly seamless.”

The city soon expanded into protecting its OneDrive and Microsoft Teams with BitDam ATP.

“Hosted in Azure, BitDam ATP offers high scalability and agility, making the integration with Microsoft’s collaboration platforms an extremely easy task and literally a 2-click assignment” said Liron Barak, CEO and Co-founder, BitDam.

Protecting OneDrive, BitDam ATP scans all content before it is accessible to end-users and quarantines malicious files so users cannot be lured to click them. BitDam ATP for Teams scans both files and links shared via Microsoft Teams’ Teams, Channels and Chats (private and public) and quarantines malicious content. According to Sherwood: “It has made a difference and has identified incidents other products in the city’s environment failed to detect.”

Preventing losses of millions

Protecting the City of Las Vegas from dozens of ransomware, phishing and other types of attacks that other security solutions they had in place failed to uncover, BitDam ATP showed clear value very quickly.

In fact, just a few weeks after the city’s onboarding, the savings were already estimated at more than US$2 million as BitDam ATP detected several Emotet trojans which bypassed the city’s Secure Email Gateway (SEG). According to US. CERT, the typical remediation cost of each Emotet infection is up to US$1 million for local governments.

“BitDam has been our go to security tool for all of our Office 365 offerings and we saw some good results with it,” said Sherwood. “The BitDam system evolves and changes with our organization and interweaves with the technology solutions we are going with.”

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