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Multi-Signal Managed Detection and Response for U.S. State and Local Governments


14 minutes read
Prevent services and critical infrastructure from operational disruption with 24/7 threat detection, investigation and containment that secures your important services

State and local government agencies carry a significant burden of responsibility in securing and protecting residents’ personal information and ensuring that critical infrastructure and services are not disrupted by cyberattacks. Over the past few years local governments have faced hundreds of attacks from threat actors. The goal of threat actors is to expose residents’ sensitive information or shut down critical infrastructure such as 911 call centers and water treatment facilities.

At the U.S. federal government level, the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act (S. 2520) was passed to provide more resources to help local leaders prevent and recover from cyberattacks, as local governments are becoming targeted more frequently by hackers and other cyber criminals.

State and local government agencies have an increasingly complex set of challenges when it comes to protecting sensitive information and critical infrastructure as they strive to connect and efficiently serve their citizens with modern services. With over 90,000 U.S. local government units serving millions of citizens who place an immense amount of trust in their local government agencies to provide essential services while safeguarding their personally identifiable information (PII), it’s no wonder that American state and local governments are an attractive target for cybercriminals.

Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected so state and local government agencies can provide public safety services (e.g., police, fire, emergency medical), education, libraries, highway building and maintenance, utilities, welfare programs, recreation, transportation services, public works, municipal courts, elections, and healthcare.

The onset of existing geopolitical tensions at the forefront is prompting state and local government agencies to focus on their ability to prevent, withstand, and recover from cyberattacks. Local leaders have become more concerned about growing social engineering attacks and about increasingly sophisticated nation-state activities potentially directed against them. This puts pressure on state and local government agencies to prioritize the protection of services and data from cyber threats and rely on top elected and appointed officials to understand the unique cyber threats that they face.

Unfortunately, many state and local government agencies still have security resource constraints, driving them to deprioritize their cybersecurity program. At the same time, cybersecurity talent shortages have plagued state and local governments for years. If their systems are compromised, it can lead to the loss of sensitive data, financial loss, and disruption of essential services. Additionally, cyberattacks on government agencies can impact public trust and confidence in these organizations.

As a result, state and local officials must take action to protect the critical assets from attack, understand the gaps between the actual cybersecurity practices of local governments and the cyber threat landscape, and understand the barriers that occur when developing, and implementing a cybersecurity program.

Off the heels of the 2020 U.S. Census, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)1 released a report on local government cybersecurity and identified the five key reasons these governments are targeted. 

  1. There are 90,075 local government agencies across the U.S. These units provide services to citizens such as public safety services (e.g., police, fire, emergency medical), education, libraries, highway building and maintenance, utilities, welfare programs, recreation, transportation services, public works, municipal courts, elections, and healthcare.
Some statistics about the large number of state and local government agencies across the U.S. that can be a target of cyberattacks.
  1. Local governments store a significant amount of sensitive information, especially personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, medical information, legal documents and financial records that are related to legal proceedings in the court system, voter data such as voting history and registration records related to elections, and contractual, billing, and financial information of the government agencies themselves.
  1. Local governments often have inadequate cyber defenses, which limit the government agency’s ability to defend itself against cyberattacks deployed by opportunistic and nation-state threat actors, malicious insiders, and hacktivists.
  1. Local governments operate under financial constraints that limit their ability to acquire and implement sophisticated cybersecurity technology, policies, and practices. Furthermore, local governments are unable to compete with the private sector in hiring and retaining skilled cybersecurity staff.
  1. As local governments seek to create smart cities and connect platforms and devices to optimize services, create efficiencies, and connect with their constituents, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices increases the attack surface, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Although cybersecurity awareness gains traction with top elected and appointed officials, cybersecurity teams continue to find themselves under-resourced against today’s threat landscape. Compounding this challenge is the increasing speed and precision with which threat actors accomplish their objectives against state and local government agencies.

There are several steps that state and local government agencies can take to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Some of these include:

Cybersecurity measures state and local government agencies and education institutions (SLED) can take to protect themselves against cyber threats.

Introducing eSentire

We are recognized globally as the Authority in Managed Detection and Response because we hunt, investigate, and stop known and unknown cyber threats before they become business disrupting events. We were founded in 2001 to secure the environments of the world’s most targeted industry—financial services. Over the last two decades, we have scaled our cybersecurity services offering to hunt and disrupt threats across every industry on a global scale.

With two 24/7 Security Operations Centers (SOCs), hundreds of cyber experts, and 1500+ customers across 80+ countries, we have scaled to deliver cybersecurity services across highly regulated industries with a proven track record of success in securing state and local government agencies.

At eSentire, we go beyond the market’s capability in threat response and specifically address cybersecurity risks for the public sector. eSentire’s multi-signal MDR approach ingests endpoint, network, log, cloud, asset and vulnerability data to enable complete attack surface visibility. Enriched detections from the eSentire Threat Response Unit (TRU) are applied to captured data identifying known & unknown threats including suspicious activity and zero-day attacks. Our SOC Cyber Analysts, and Elite Threat Hunters are mission-driven to put state and local government agencies ahead of business disruption. Powered by our industry-leading XDR cloud platform and unique threat intelligence, eSentire can detect and respond to cybersecurity threats in state and local government agencies with a Mean Time to Contain of 15 minutes.

Today we secure a growing list of customers in state and local government agencies including:

  • County and city governments
  • State boards
  • Law enforcement departments
  • State universities and community colleges
  • State supreme courts
  • Health and safety departments
  • County commissioners offices
  • School districts

At eSentire We Support State and Local Government Agencies By:

Whether your assets are stored in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid environment, we detect and contain threats that other MDR providers miss. Our global 24/7 SOCs have discovered instances of ransomware gangs targeting our state and local government agency customers and have interrupted their activities before they could establish a foothold by:

Key State and Local Government Industry Challenges How eSentire Managed Detection & Response Helps
Access to Confidential Information Our 24/7 Elite Threat Hunters and SOC Cyber Analysts actively hunt for threats across your environment. We detect intrusions and contain attacks before data can be exfiltrated.
Operational Disruption and the Cost of Downtime We detect malicious administrative activity through remote access tools and stop intrusions before malware can be deployed throughout your environment.
Protecting Against Supply Chain and Third-Party Vendor Risk We mitigate supply chain and third-party vendor risk.
  • eSentire Managed Risk Service experts support in security assessments, testing and make strategic recommendations to offset risks for the state and local government industry.
  • eSentire Managed Detection and Response has repeatedly caught and stopped vendor compromises before the vendor reported the vulnerability.
Preventing Ransomware Attacks We monitor your attack surface 24/7 to discover intrusion attempts, preventing the pervasive deployment of malware and ransomware.
  • We support multi-signal coverage ensuring visibility across endpoint, network, log, cloud, and other data sources for deep investigation and kill-switch response capabilities.
  • We offer endpoint protection to prevent your defenses from being disabled.
Avoiding Regulatory and Compliance Violations Our 24/7 Global SOCs leverages proven run books which include detectors mapped to requirements and reporting measures for PCI DSS, CCPA, GLBA, SOX, NYCRR, HIPAA, as well as state-level regulations.

Avoid the Threat of Downtime and Disruption of Critical Government Services

Ransomware has become a topic of discussion globally as cybersecurity leaders grapple with the magnitude and impact of this threat. Over the past 2-3 years, adversaries have shifted to using Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and sophisticated social engineering techniques to deploy highly targeted cyberattacks.

Successful attacks unfold in mere hours from Initial Access to data exfiltration and ransomware deployment, making the time to detect and time to contain critical factors in building an effective cybersecurity program.

Unless you’re prepared to defend against modern ransomware, these attacks can result in your organization being locked out of mission-critical systems and applications for days or even weeks. The resulting downtime can be detrimental to businesses, driving many CEOs to pay the ransom.

Top cyber threats impacting state and local government agencies and education institutions (SLED) according to eSentire Threat Response Unit (TRU).
Some statistics about ransomware attacks and the resulting cost of downtime for state and local government agencies and education institutions (SLED).

Adversaries will continue to evolve their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to fulfill their objectives and deploy ransomware. Ultimately, the difference between protection and disruption comes down to the speed at which you can identify and contain a cyberattack.

eSentire Cybersecurity Services Portfolio

It’s critical to employ a multi-layered defense strategy to prevent ransomware from disrupting state and local government agencies such as the exfiltration of sensitive PII data— this is why 24/7 Multi-Signal MDR is an important part of your cyber defense strategy. With MDR, government agencies can quickly and accurately detect cyberattacks and respond in a timely and effective manner. This can help prevent damage to their systems and the loss of sensitive data, and minimize the disruption to essential services.

Additionally, MDR can provide government agencies with the expertise and resources they need to effectively defend against cyber threats without having to invest in and manage their own in-house security teams. eSentire’s cybersecurity services portfolio is designed to prevent breaches, simplify security and minimize your business risk. We provide around-the-clock threat protection that is proactive, personalized and cost-effective.

Managed Detection and Response Services that Meet Cybersecurity Insurance Requirements

eSentire’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services have been specifically designed to rapidly identify and contain advanced threats in order to reduce cyber risk. We maintain partnerships with leading cyber insurance providers as an MDR provider of choice and offer complete threat protection that meets insurance requirements and can reduce policyholder costs for state and local governments who are already grappling with budget constraints. Underwriters at cyber insurance organizations are looking to reduce policyholder risk and many times require policyholders to work with MDR providers like eSentire to develop and implement strong cybersecurity controls and governance.

Gain Confidence, Control & Expertise

Managed Risk


Strategic services including Vulnerability Management, vCISO and Managed Phishing & Security Awareness Training to identify gaps, build defensive strategies, operationalize risk mitigation and continuously advance your security program.

Managed Detection and Response


We deliver Response + Remediation you can trust. By combining our cutting-edge XDR platform, 24/7 threat hunting and security operations leadership, we hunt and disrupt known and unknown threats before they impact your business.

Digital Forensics and Incident Response


Battle-tested Incident Commander level expertise, crime scene reconstruction and digital forensics investigations that can bear scrutiny in a court of law. The world’s fastest threat suppression with a 4-hour SLA available with our IR Retainer.

eSentire MDR Features Include:

  • 24/7 Always-on Monitoring
  • 24/7 Live SOC Cyber Analyst Support
  • 24/7 Threat Hunting
  • 24/7 Threat Disruption and Containment Support
  • Mean Time to Contain: 15 minutes
  • Machine Learning XDR Cloud Platform
  • Multi-signal Coverage and Visibility
  • Automated Detections with Signatures, IOCs and IPs
  • Security Network Effects
  • Detections mapped to MITRE ATT&CK® Framework
  • 5 Machine Learning Patents for Threat Detection and Data Transfer
  • Detection of Unknown Attacks Using Behavioral Analytics
  • Rapid Human-led Investigations
  • Threat Containment and Remediation
  • Detailed Escalations with Analysis and Security Recommendations
  • eSentire Insight Portal Access and Real-Time Visualizations
  • Threat Advisories, Threat Research and Thought Leadership
  • Operational Reporting and Peer Coverage Comparisons
  • Named Cyber Risk Advisor
  • Business Reviews and Strategic Continuous Improvement Planning

Why State and Local Governments Choose eSentire

Put Your Business Ahead of Disruption

  • Recognized - The Authority in Managed Detection and Response
  • Simple - We absorb the complexity of cybersecurity so you can prioritize your operations
  • Scalable - Industry’s most powerful machine learning XDR Cloud Platform can ingest data at the pace and scale of your business
  • Precise - We’re on the cutting-edge of attacker Tactics, Techniques and Procedures mitigating your risk of being breached
  • Fast - Extreme time to value as you will be fully operational within weeks
  • Responsive - We own the R in MDR to provide extensive response capabilities and threat hunting around the clock
  • Compliance - Our 24/7 Global SOCs leverage proven runbooks which include plays to manage issues and reporting for PCI DSS, CCPA, GDPR, HIPAA, as well as state-level rules such as NYCRR 500.
  • Cost-Effective - 24/7 threat protection, detection and response at a fraction of the cost of DIY security programs
  • Complete - Multi Signal Coverage and comprehensive security services support
  • Team - Cyber Risk Advisor + SOC Cyber Analyst and Elite Threat Hunters on guard for your business 24/7
  • Results States and Local Governments Can Expect:
    • ~50% reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) for threat detection and response
    • 50%+ additional coverage on top of commodity threat intelligence, leveraging proprietary technology and our food manufacturing network of customers
    • 9% reduction in threat detection and containment times from global averages
Some statistics about eSentire’s threat hunting and threat intelligence capabilities.
Some awards and industry certifications won by eSentire’s complete, multi-signal Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service.

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