Data Visibility & Protection Government

How the Cook County Sheriff Lights Up Dark Endpoints

September 26, 2018

Every business is a data business, and law enforcement is no exception. Law enforcement organizations hold confidential information that cyber criminals consider valuable. Attack methods and goals vary of course, from hackers breaking in via a supplier to swipe personnel data, as was the case in one incident that targeted U.S. law enforcement agencies earlier this year, to hacking police bodycams to alter footage.

More common – and equally as risky – is simply tracking and managing the volume of devices law enforcement agencies require to effectively do their jobs. Visibility for IT is crucial.

Headquartered in Chicago, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is the principal law enforcement agency that serves Cook County, Illinois. It’s the second largest sheriff’s department in the U.S. with over 6,900 members when at full operational strength. CCSO now uses the Absolute platform for about 4,100 workstations.

Before Absolute, it was a guessing game as to where the devices were and how they were being used, says Keith Morrison, Director of Information Security. “We have a lot of mobile devices, and devices being loaned to other people, when someone goes on vacation, for example.”

Keeping track, let alone ensuring those devices were running as they should, was a challenge.

Using the power of Absolute, CCSO can minimize security risks, spot and remediate issues in near real time. They can tap into Absolute’s ability to detect, understand and remediate vulnerabilities across all of their endpoints on-demand, whether the device is on their network or not.

“Absolute has provided us with incredible transparency related to our single device per user policy,” said Morrison. “It is the single source of truth so I can, without a doubt, provide my peers as well as supervisors with visibility down to the user who has each device, what they are using it for and how long they are using it per day.”

Always-on visibility and control over endpoints and data help IT evaluate exposure risk as well as immediately remediate when necessary. “The daily reports I get out of Absolute are much more in-depth. Our data is much more valuable than the actual hardware. If one was lost, stolen, or misplaced, I could clear the data.”

“If I didn’t have Absolute, I would literally be in the dark,” Morrison said.

For more on how the Cook County Sheriff’s office relies on Absolute, watch this new video.

Data Visibility & Protection Government

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