ITA Spotlight of the Month, November 2019: Perimeter Security Team

November 8, 2019
Network Security

I hope you had a spooktacular and safe Halloween yesterday.  While it may not be a zombie or a werewolf, today we will highlight something even scarier... a cyber attack.  More importantly, our November spotlight of the month shines on the ITA Perimeter Security Team that is responsible for preventing over 7 million unauthorized network attempts every day!  

The ITA Perimeter Security Team (formerly Network & Connectivity Management and ITA-SIS) performs many critical, citywide network and security services: firewalls, web proxies, remote access, DNS, SMTP, and IP Address management. These systems allow secure access between City networks and the Internet, enabling access to the data and resources needed securely to keep the City functioning - in many ways, they are the gatekeepers who allow authorized access to our digital City assets while keeping the intruders out.

Because so many citywide services and systems rely on these key network functions, this team is heavily relied upon to handle daily operations while also designing secure connectivity and troubleshooting access issues to City systems both on and off hours, often in cooperation with other ITA teams and City departments.

In addition to managing the daily flurry of access requests and inquiries these systems entail, the team is responsible for: maintaining firewalls that handle over 200,000 connections per minute and block an average of 7 million unauthorized access attempts per day; managing over 200 Domain Name Service entries that receive over 60 million queries per month; processing remote access requests for over 300 active users; and supporting web proxies that handle 100 million Internet requests per day.

Members: Henry Choi, Miguel Collins, Ryan Norwall, Hana Saad, Juan Tornero, & Bruce Wise

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Over the past year, this team has worked in collaboration with ITA Engineering to upgrade and consolidate multiple network firewalls into a next-generation firewall and intrusion prevention system. This involved countless hours of designing, planning, and coordinating citywide efforts to improve network security, stability, connectivity, and bandwidth. All teams involved sacrificed late nights and weekends to minimize required outages to City networks.
  • At the heart of many phishing attempts and malware attacks is the illegitimate use of the Domain Name System (DNS). Recently, the team has implemented a DNS Firewall solution that works as an additional security layer to monitor, analyze, and block this type of malicious activity on City networks. 

Keep it up, team!  Our cyber defenses are counting on you.