For the past 28 years, Citywide Service Solutions Pty has been providing a range of physical and industrial services, including commercial waste management and infrastructure management, to governments and private sector corporations in Australia. A private company owned by the city of Melbourne, the services provided by Citywide positively impact more than 13 million Australians every day.
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The onset of the COVID19 pandemic forced Citywide’s 1,000 employees into a distributed, work-from-home model. Like so many companies, this was a critical moment for Citywide, who had to recreate their IT strategy and envision a new Cyber strategy entirely from scratch.
Phishing presents another ongoing challenge, which Citywide notes is perhaps the most dangerous attack method in Australia. Additionally, its private-public role creates unique challenges for Citywide. They are closely scrutinized by the media and audited multiple times a year. If anything goes wrong it impacts the reputation of their parent organization - the City of Melbourne.
To deal with a rapidly changing business environment and expanding attack surface, Citywide turned to the Rapid7 Managed Detection and Response service to deliver the people, processes, and technology to enable Citywide to elevate their cybersecurity maturity. They turned to Rapid7 as their partner in cybersecurity.
Parry Singh, Group Head of IT and Cybersecurity Lead knew that if Citywide was going to weather the move to work-from-home, they would have to be aggressive in protecting their assets. They quickly rolled out MFA on top of their VPN access for all team members, added Darktrace, and propped up their data center. The Rapid7 Managed Detection and Response service was to be the final piece in the puzzle.
“We don’t have a traditional security team, we have an infrastructure team, which manages security, all the servers, and the day-to-day business activities,” explains Singh. “And, we couldn’t deal with all the anomalies coming in our systems. I had already implemented numerous improvements to our security architecture, but it was evident that we required dedicated security specialists. That’s why I turned to Rapid7 MDR.”
By Singh’s estimates, the decision to hire Rapid7 rather than half a dozen new employees with six figure salaries was an easy one. “We looked at Rapid7 and thought, wow, that’s exactly what we need,” he recalled.
Citywide implemented Rapid7 because of the increased attacks being seen and reported on in Australia on a daily basis. Singh worked with Rapid7 as part of Citywide’s MDR on-boarding process, and it paid off in spades almost instantly for his team.
“Before Rapid7 our team couldn’t provide 24/7 coverage. We began working with Rapid7’s MDR Service to help us bolster our detection and response program and put our team at ease. Now, I have peace of mind because I know if we were to be targeted by a threat or breach, we are protected with Rapid7.”
Rapid’s MDR service is on of the core security measures implemented in Citywide as part of their security posture. “Everything is correlated, all our endpoints, everything is connected together into Rapid7,” explained Singh. “Endpoint protection is not smart enough to handle the heavy load. And that’s why Rapid7 came into the picture, because Rapid7 could leverage the Sophos endpoint protection and collect and analyze that data. We also have Microsoft ATP protection and Darktrace running. Rapid7 helps us to be more efficient, especially since it’s so fast in investigating and quarantining things.”
Singh also notes that just having a system in place doesn’t protect you. It is just another mechanism. So he is pleased with the really high-quality, high-contact, actionable insights that Rapid7 provides. “I have my own Rapid7 Customer Advisor, and I talk with them on a regular basis,” explains Singh. “They are available 24/7. That is the Rapid7 difference - really great service delivery. It’s a collaboration. If something goes wrong, they will jump on the phone with us if necessary to figure out a problem and try to resolve it together.”
Singh adds that Rapid7 responds even if the problem is not related to their service. “Rapid7 has stepped up and delivered the service according to my expectations. Overall, the experience with Rapid7 has been an amazing experience. At the end of the day, we trust Rapid7.”
Citywide is in growth mode, having acquired a number of utility companies which will slowly come under Citywide’s umbrella structure – and for Singh, that means folding them into Rapid7’s protection as well. “We don’t integrate all their systems with us because they have different needs, but Rapid7 is one of the pieces that will work.”