The importance of cybersecurity keeps growing with each passing year, yet based on conversations with the Local Government Units’ IT experts, we know that this issue is often not a priority for office authorities when planning investments.
The ‘Digital Commune’ grant program, announced in 2021, has made it possible to apply for investment funds for cybersecurity. Yet, when submitting applications, many offices, report investments in equipment such as computers or servers, which are something tangible, physical and, of course, also very much needed. However, the security of the given locality residents’ data depends on good security of the authorities’ networks. Does the well-known saying ‘hindsight is 20/20’ have to apply in this case? Fortunately – not always, because there are decision-makers who are ambitious and serious about this topic, and they refuse to wait for security incidents to prompt them to make decisions.
‘Improving cybersecurity at the office is one of my current priorities. Beginning this process with a thorough analysis of the current state will help accomplish this task in an orderly manner’ – Przemysław Kubicki, Secretary of TH Błonie.
IT experts of the Town Hall of Błonie view the implementation of cybersecurity as a process that should be conducted step by step, and this is the right approach.
In 2021, at the Town Hall of Błonie near Warsaw, EXATEL launched an internet service connected with our TAMA solution, i.e. the protection of the network against DDoS attacks. This service provides continuous analysis of traffic directed to the network. If an abnormal event is detected and classified as malicious – immediate action is taken to protect against the consequences of the attack.
In 2022, it was time for the next step.
As part of the ‘Digital Commune’ program, many offices announced tenders for the obligatory ‘Cybersecurity Diagnosis’. However, Rafał Lewandowski, an IT specialist at the Town Hall of Błonie, considered such a diagnosis to be only a basic option that is no substitute for a full and actually beneficial audit. Already having confidence in EXATEL, he has begun discussions regarding the possibility of performing an in-depth analysis of the Office’s cybersecurity. Representatives of the Office decided to order the ‘Security Reconnaissance’ service, which includes both the analysis of the processes and procedures’ vulnerability to attacks, and the penetration tests performed by Security Operation Center experts, who test these vulnerabilities in practice.
‘We are committed to keeping our network and, by extension, the data of Błonie residents, safe. We are investing in the city, its infrastructure and development, and we are also investing in the security, including the digital one. Nowadays, it’s not something that can be postponed, it has become a necessity. The reconnaissance carried out by EXATEL will help us realistically assess our current situation and implement further investments with focus on strategic elements, thus spending available funds more efficiently’ says Zenon Reszka, who’s been acting as the Mayor of Błonie for almost 20 years.
During two intensive days of work, 5 EXATEL employees (2 certified cybersecurity experts and 3 pentesters) conducted reconnaissance and penetration tests at the Office in Błonie. A week later, the representatives of the Office received an in-depth report from EXATEL which included the assessment of the current state of security, possible weaknesses, and the recommendations regarding seals and further steps in the development of security.
‘Representatives of the Town Hall of Błonie are people who really care. They act, obtain grants, help in the city’s development, while keeping in mind that technology development is also an important investment aspect. Cooperation with such a partner is always substantive and fruitful’ – says Katarzyna Kochańska, EXATEL Key Account Manager.