City of Oshawa

Achieves 70% reduction in cybersecurity threats with Trend Micro Apex One

Overview

The City of Oshawa is vigilant in protecting the data of its private citizens and businesses, especially as cities worldwide face growing ransomware attacks. As it pursues its digital transformation goals, the city relies on Trend Micro to protect its data, reducing malware events by as much as 70% while freeing up valuable resources.

With a population of more than 166,000, the City of Oshawa is the largest city in the Durham Region and part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Oshawa is home to three highly acclaimed post-secondary institutions—Durham College, Ontario Tech University, and Trent University Durham GTA. The city has one of the largest community-based healthcare networks in Canada, Lakeridge Health, and is home to LHEARN (Lakeridge Health Education and Research Network), a hub for cutting-edge medical training, education, and research.

Challenges

“The complexity in protecting data these days has increased, and our residents have higher expectations when it comes to how their data is maintained and protected. The workforce today has changed due to new work from home policies and there is also a younger generation of users who access more applications, increasing the risk of more threats being introduced to our systems,” says Steve Patterson, Manager of Systems and Security Operations for the City of Oshawa.

The city needed more visibility and reporting due to the increase of ransomware attempts alongside the ability to manage all threats with the same IT staff and budget. With all these challenging factors, Patterson required security tools that were easy to manage and deploy. As the city plans to move from traditional, paper-based processes to a cloud-based digital system to promote Oshawa as a technology hub, ensuring the highest levels of IT security—without significantly increasing resources—was a critical component of those efforts.

"With one console I get complete visibility into everything. It eliminates threats without any involvement from us. Trend Micro has made my life simpler and provided me with a solution that works."

Steve Patterson
Manager, Systems and Security Operations
City of Oshawa

Why Trend Micro

City of Oshawa leaders turned to Trend Micro primarily because of the company’s knowledge and their three decades of experience in cybersecurity. Patterson appreciates the fact that Trend Micro treats the city as a trusted partner. “Trend Micro is always willing to share information and strategies, providing me with opportunities to participate in beta trials and engage directly with the product teams. My account rep reaches out proactively to let us know about new innovations being introduced, and just to make sure everything is working properly.” he says.

Patterson also points to Trend Micro’s education and training programs as non-technical differentiators. “If we have a concern, we can reach out to Trend Micro. They will give us an answer or put us in touch with others who have dealt with a similar issue.”

"The number of malware events being reported dropped by 70% since we began using Apex One with EDR."

Steve Patterson
Manager, Systems and Security Operations
City of Oshawa

Solution

A Trend Micro customer since 2014, the city added hybrid cloud security and Trend Micro Deep Discovery Analyser in 2016. The city upgraded to Trend Micro Apex One in 2019 to expand its vulnerability protection and take advantage of new technologies and tools that came with the single agent platform. “The Apex One upgrade was beautiful—it was simple, straightforward, and we experienced no impact to our users,” says Patterson.

The upgrade also included the addition of endpoint detection and response (XDR for Trend Micro Apex One) and application control. XDR for Trend Micro Apex One provides complete visibility into the attack path, spread, and extent of impact of a targeted attack. Application control allows the city to enhance its defences against malware and targeted attacks by preventing unknown and unwanted applications from executing on endpoints.

Patterson appreciates the connectedness of all the solutions and recognises that it adds incredible value. “Trend Micro Connected Threat Defence quickly protects, detects, and responds to new threats while improving visibility and streamlining investigation across our entire IT infrastructure,” says Patterson.

Results

Using Trend Micro as a key security partner has greatly expanded the city’s ability to detect and respond to threats. “With (Trend Micro) Apex One and EDR added, the City of Oshawa has experienced a 70% drop in malware events that are reported and ticketed because the solution accelerates the threat detection on our systems,” says Patterson. “Less demand means the city can focus more attention on strategic tasks.”

Patterson continues, “We have hundreds of systems, but we don’t have hundreds of people to watch them. With Apex Central, I get complete visibility into everything from one console. It eliminates threats without any involvement from us. Trend Micro has made my life simpler and provided me with a solution that works.” When it comes to visibility, Patterson is able to see more while being virtually invisible to the end user, “By integrating with other products, Trend Micro’s solutions pick up intelligence from other systems. Machine learning is solid in differentiating poorly written applications and what is actual malware.”

Meanwhile, Deep Discovery Analyser and Endpoint Detection keep the city protected from email and web-based attacks at the perimeter. The city recently moved its staff to work-from-home environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making employees potentially more vulnerable to ransomware, phishing attacks, and viruses. Trend Micro solutions help Patterson and his team keep things running smoothly.

“We’ve seen a drastic increase in attempts due to COVID-19. Email attacks have gone through the roof. With Trend Micro, we have far more visibility into these threats than we would have otherwise,” says Patterson.

What's Next

With resources strained due to the pandemic, Oshawa IT staff is focused on keeping operations running smoothly. In the longer term, the city plans to continue its digital transformation and will include Trend Micro solutions in those efforts. “As we continue our journey, working with Trend Micro means we know the security tools and systems we need are already in place,” concludes Patterson.