OMES launches IT Security Operations Center
Oklahoma becomes national leader in state IT security
OKLAHOMA CITY — State government’s computer network has been
made far more secure with the launch of Oklahoma’s first statewide information
technology Security Operations Center (SOC).
The SOC, developed and administered by the
Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), provides real-time security
monitoring and threat alerts for all state computers, allowing the state to
thwart attacks from hackers and other information technology security risks at
a far higher rate than in the past.
“We place the highest
premium on keeping the taxpayers’ information as secure as possible,” said OMES
Chief Security Officer Mark Gower. “As statewide IT consolidation has
progressed, Oklahoma’s ability to improve security across the entire state
network has increased dramatically. The SOC, in particular, has eliminated a
significant amount of vulnerability that existed previously when each agency
was running its own IT services without any uniform, statewide security
The SOC, launched in
January and now fully operational, has made Oklahoma’s information technology
security posture stronger than most other state governments. As of Nov. 1, approximately
28,000 of the state’s 34,000 computers are monitored by the SOC. The SOC’s goal
is to monitor all state computers by the end of 2015.
Symantec, a Fortune
500 company and leading information technology security provider, called Oklahoma’s
security model a “blueprint” for other state governments to adopt.
“In today’s threat
landscape, state and local governments need real-time monitoring
and security intelligence to effectively protect against
advanced persistent threats and targeted attacks,” said Amber
Johanson, senior director, Public Sector Engineering, Symantec. “By
deploying a statewide Security Operations Center, the State of Oklahoma is
taking the steps necessary to proactively protect their employees
and residents from security risks, while also creating a blueprint for
other state governments to adopt.”
The SOC is designed
to alert a staff of dedicated security personnel to any potential threat to a
state computer or the state network. It also tracks state computer usage to
ensure users are not engaging in behavior that could pose security risks.
“In today’s world,
all large networks face constant, daily attacks from hackers and other threats.
The high level of security that Oklahoma’s state government now enjoys is
possible because policymakers made the wise decision to centrally consolidate
state IT services,” said state Chief Information Officer Alex Pettit. “Off-the-shelf
security services were projected to cost up to $600,000, but we were able to
build a superior solution at no additional cost using our own in-house
resources. Increasing security to this level while also containing cost is a
superb accomplishment that demonstrates tremendous talent and vision in the state’s
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About the Office of Management and Enterprise Services
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services provides financial, property, purchasing, human resources and information technology services to all state agencies, and assists the Governor’s Office on budgetary policy matters. Our mission: To lead, support, and serve. For more information, visit OMES.OK.gov.