Essex County Fire & Rescue Service cyber security threats and ensures GPG 13 compliance with LogRhythm
LogRhythm, pioneer in cyber threat defence, detection and response, recently confirmed that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) has deployed its integrated log management and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution to support achieving the regulatory compliance required to access the government’s new Public Service Network (PSN). The LogRhythm platform also provides the organisation with increased situational awareness across its IT infrastructure, boosting its overall cyber security stance and improving operational efficiency.
With an area covering almost 400,000 hectares encompassing a population of more than 1.5 million, and with 50 fire stations across 14 local authority areas, Essex has one of the largest County fire services in the UK. As such, it is necessary for ECFRS to safeguard sensitive data across its developing IT estate, especially as it continues to roll out a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, with individual log-in credentials for each of its fire fighters. Furthermore, the organisation is required to follow government regulations utilising Good Practice Guide no. 13 (GPG 13), which advocates all network traffic must be continuously monitored as a way of proactively identifying unusual or suspicious behaviour, in order to access the PSN.
Prior to deploying LogRhythm, ECFRS used a log management solution that struggled to provide network visibility across the organisation’s expanding IT infrastructure and would have required extensive configuration if it were to deliver the level of protective monitoring needed for GPG 13 compliance. As such, ECFRS assessed a number of SIEM solutions against the set criteria, and following an extensive evaluation process, the organisation chose LogRhythm for the platform’s intuitive nature, its advanced reporting suite, and its unique ability to easily demonstrate compliance with government frameworks upon deployment.
Chris Massie, ECFRS ICT Security Officer, said: “By deploying the platform, we have made significant progress in establishing GPG 13 aligned controls. LogRhythm and our reseller partner, IP Performance, ensured the deployment process was quick and efficient. This, coupled with the solution’s intuitive nature, has enabled us to make more progress in the first five days of deployment than we have over the past year using our previous log management tool.”
ECFRS is also utilising the LogRhythm solution to improve its IT security procedures and optimise its operational efficiency. Furthermore, the organisation is currently in the process of extending its headquarters, and going forward, it will use LogRhythm’s platform to ensure the secure and efficient operation of its new control room, from which all emergency requests and 999 calls to the Service are to be managed.
“We were looking to implement a solution that would enable the proactive management of our cyber security and IT operations, not just a platform that would tick a compliance box,” continued Massie. “We attend an average of 24,490 calls a year – and we’re increasingly dependent upon IT infrastructure to manage operations. Since deployment, LogRhythm’s solution has already enabled us to identify and respond to a number of operational issues, which has made the running of our service more seamless and efficient.”
“Access to the government’s PSN is undoubtedly essential for any public sector organisation, and with GPG 13 compliance now guaranteed, ECFRS can reap its benefits,” said Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director, international markets at LogRhythm. “Furthermore, ECFRS, like so many rescue and emergency service organisations, also faces the increasingly daunting challenge of protecting the security of its growing IT operations. By adopting a proactive Protective Monitoring approach, the organisation now has gained the deep level of network visibility required to significantly boost its IT security and improve operational efficiency.”
LogRhythm is the largest and fastest growing independent Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) provider in the world. The company’s patented and award-winning SIEM 2.0 Big Data Security Analytics platform empowers organizations around the globe to detect breaches and the most sophisticated cyber threats of today, faster and with greater accuracy than ever before. LogRhythm also provides unparalleled compliance automation and assurance as well as operational intelligence to Global 2000 organizations, government agencies and mid-sized businesses worldwide.
Positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2012 SIEM Magic Quadrant and listed as a “Champion” in Info-Tech Research’s 2012 SIEM Landscape Report, LogRhythm also earned a perfect, 5-star rating and this year’s exclusive “BEST BUY” in the SC Magazine SIEM Group Test. Additional awards have included Computing Security’s Bench Tested Solution of the Year, SC Labs’ “Recommended” 5-star designation twice, SC Magazine’s Innovator of the Year Award, Readers Trust Award for “Best SIEM” solution and “BEST BUY” designation for Digital Forensics. LogRhythm is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado with operations in Canada, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
About Essex Fire and Rescue Services
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Essex in the east of England, and is one of the largest fire services in the country, covering an area of almost 400,000 hectares and a population of over 1.7 million people.
The Service attends an average of 24,490 emergency incidents per year, mostly fires and traffic collisions.
ECFRS employs 1,640 staff, comprising 874 full-time firefighters, 479 retained firefighters, 43 control personnel and 244 support staff.
There are 50 fire stations throughout the county, 12 of which are wholetime and generally located in the more densely populated areas; 34 are retained and four are day-crewed, providing cover throughout the rest of Essex.
Major risks covered include Stansted and Southend airports, Harwich seaport, Lakeside shopping centre, Croydon oil refinery, power stations and docks at Tilbury and part of the M25 and M11 motorways and A12 trunk road.
As well as attending fires, traffic collisions and other rescue operations, ECFRS provides emergency response to hazardous materials incidents and one of the United Kingdom’s urban search and rescue (USAR) teams: a team of officers with special training and equipment to conduct rescues from collapsed buildings and enclosed spaces. Their resources include a search dog trained to locate people trapped in rubble. Another primary role of the service is preventative community safety work; in 2010 ECFRS fitted over 7,000 smoke alarms in houses across the county.