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News

Emergency services call centre protection with CounterACT

ForeScout Technologies : 21 April, 2009  (Application Story)
Culpeper County in Virginia has chosen CounterACT from ForeScout Technologies for network access control at its emergency call centre, police stations and airport
ForeScout Technologies has announced that Culpeper County Government in Virginia has implemented CounterACT across 14 local and remote offices to meet Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance, control access to the network and protect against threats. Originally deployed by Culpeper for access control alone, use of CounterACT has expanded to encompass a much greater role of monitoring the network and protecting agencies including the 911 Emergency Centre, EMS, Airport and Sheriff's office from cyber attacks, malware and viruses.


Following on the heels of recent ForeScout government sector news including Enterprise-Grade NAC for Government Agencies and Albany County's Standardisation on CounterACT, this announcement provides further evidence of the increasing importance of NAC in managing and protecting the government enterprise.


"Working with our existing infrastructure, ForeScout has provided Culpeper County with a single powerful device to shore up our network perimeter, adhere to FOIA compliance regulations and protect critical government agencies from malware, viruses and cyber threats," said Todd Frazier, Systems Administrator of Culpeper County Government. "CounterACT is our first line of response. It is the sledgehammer in the back office that allows us to stamp out any threat which may have an impact on our network."


Because of recent amendments to the FOIA, local governments such as Culpeper County must be able to keep public records on all correspondence to and from any government office including email, chat sessions and peer-to-peer communications. CounterACT enables Culpeper County to restrict the use of instant messaging, SMS chat and disable peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs so that accurate records can be kept and Culpeper can ensure FOIA compliance.


"Culpeper County, like many local government agencies, has network infrastructure and users spread across multiple buildings in the county of varying levels of physical security. This provides a variety of network security challenges," said Anthony Soucek, Network Administrator of Culpeper County. "Using CounterACT we have gained the ability to see any and every device on the network, their interconnections to other network devices, and the ability to control how that device is being used - in real time."


Network discovery and asset management has also been a key component of Culpeper County's use of CounterACT. Many of the county's offices share temporary space in historical buildings around the city with other government agencies and private businesses. Before CounterACT was implemented it was possible for any Culpeper County employee to plug into a random wall jack and unknowingly create a bridge with the network of another organization. This created vulnerability in the network and also caused problems with network performance. Using CounterACT, Culpeper County was able to identify these points of vulnerability and shore up the true perimeter of their network. Furthermore, CounterACT was able to detect and disable rogue wireless access points deployed across the county, effectively eliminating an additional vulnerability in the network.

The latest CounterACT innovations will be demonstrated in ForeScout Booth #423 at the forthcoming RSA Conference 2009, April 20-24, Moscone Centre/San Francisco.
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