The City of Columbia

Secures City and Data with Trend Vision One™

OVERVIEW

Located in the heart of the United States, Columbia, Missouri, is a quintessential Midwest city, with a vibrant culture and a diverse community anchored by the University of Missouri. Serving over 120,000 residents, the city must remain vigilant in protecting citizens’ data while also ensuring that critical infrastructure—such as electric and water utilities—remain secure. The city’s Senior Cyber Security Analyst, Luke Mason, relies on Trend Vision One to maintain a robust and secure technological foundation as he builds out the city’s new security operations centre (SOC).

City of Columbia logo

Industry

Government

Employees

1,300

Region

United States, North America

IT Environment

Microsoft Office 365

Solutions

  • Integrated platform approach increases visibility and supports the city’s SOC development
  • User-friendly UI enables a threeperson security team to streamline security investigations and speed onboarding
  • Forensics streamlines post-incident analysis, enabling quick and comprehensive reporting on user machines with a single click

CHALLENGES

As a municipality, the City of Columbia contends with stringent regulations and budget constraints that complicate software procurement. In addition, the city had multiple security tools with separate logins and incompatible consoles, which took up precious time for Mason’s small team. “Our biggest challenge is not having enough time to dedicate to certain activities. We try to get everything we need done in the very short amount of time that we have,” says Mason.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed with Trend Vision One is the simplicity of consolidating our infrastructure into one complete view.”

Photo of Luke Mason

Luke Mason

Senior Cyber Security Analyst, City of Columbia

WHY TREND

The city originally had several incorrectly configured on-premises servers. Mason was tasked with not only fixing the configurations but also ensuring that the servers were fully protected. “The first thing I did was reach out to our Trend Micro account manager for guidance. Over a few weeks, the Trend team of engineers and I reconfigured the workloads for SaaS and migrated everything to Trend Vision One,” says Mason.

“It has been night and day ever since,” says Mason. “We used to see random issues where things weren’t working, but we’re not experiencing that problem any longer. Plus, with Trend, we have the expertise of a million-dollar company to rely on to maintain our servers and environment.”

Attack Surface Risk Management is a game-changer, allowing us to assess domains, prioritise vulnerabilities, and chart a focused plan of attack. This helps us pinpoint our vulnerable areas and allocate resources effectively.”

Photo of Luke Mason

Luke Mason

Senior Cyber Security Analyst, City of Columbia

SOLUTION

As the City of Columbia continues to develop its SOC, Mason lauds the Trend platform approach as key to his success. The cloud-native Trend Vision One supports the city’s IT and operational technology (OT) environment by managing multiple security functions in one console, including Trend Vision One™ – XDR, Trend Micro™ Cloud App Security, and Trend Vision One™ – Attack Surface Risk Management (ASRM).

“Attack Surface Risk Management is a game-changer, allowing us to assess domains, prioritise vulnerabilities, and chart a focused plan of attack. This helps us pinpoint our vulnerable areas and allocate resources effectively,” says Mason.

For its bulk electric system, which is an air-gapped environment without direct access to the internet, the city relies on TXOne StellarProtect security to identify any malware and report back to Trend Vision One. “The centralised console in Trend Vision One gives my team instant visibility into that system without it needing to be connected to the internet,” says Mason.

RESULTS

With Trend Vision One in place, the City of Columbia has a complete view of threats and statuses across its entire IT environment. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed with Trend Vision One is the simplicity of consolidating our infrastructure into one complete view,” says Mason. “I have all our external sites and DNS actively being scanned, and I receive reports so I can quickly take action instead of spending hours digging through alerts.”

“With XDR deployed across 2,000 machines, my team of three have quick insight into alerts, enabling them to view executables and easily safelist or block the action,” says Mason. “We also heavily use the automated response playbooks in Trend Vision One to automate phishing email investigations, freeing up an hour or two of my time every day.”

The Trend Vision One™ – Forensics feature is also a huge win for Mason. “Forensics has transformed our approach. Whereas before I’d have to pull an image of the user’s machine and review everything on the hard drive, now I click one button, and 15 minutes later I have an entire report of everything that is on that machine,” says Mason.

WHAT'S NEXT

Mason plans to continue expanding the city’s SOC, as well as refining identity management, aiming for a centralised system to handle identity and privileged access more efficiently. “We are excited to mature our SOC and finetune our zero-trust approach by leveraging Trend Vision One for managing and enforcing policies for identity management and privileged access,” says Mason. He’s also exploring the Trend Service One™ offering to augment his threeperson security team with 24/7 managed protection.

“My goal is to avoid being in the newspaper because something bad happens,” says Mason. “With Trend’s support, I feel confident that we can keep our citizens safe.”

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