City of New Orleans

Back from the brink, stronger than ever

Hurricane Katrina left an indelible mark on New Orleans but it also presented the opportunity for the community to create a new chapter in the city’s storied history. Freud Alexandre, New Orleans’ enterprise architect and security manager, elaborated, “As part of the efforts to rebuild the city, our leadership made a commitment to craft something that is bigger and better than it ever was before. Katrina taught us that you never really know what’s going to hit you, so we’ve embodied that philosophy in our approach to designing a world-class infrastructure.

“New Orleans is one of the country’s biggest destination cities and we host a huge number of events: sporting, musical, cultural, etc. To keep people coming back, it’s imperative to make everyone feel confident that we are looking after their digital assets while they are here.”


City New Orleans: Stronger, Fitter, and Ready for Action

“Data integrity is of paramount importance to the City of New Orleans and we appreciate that FireEye unconditionally delivers on everything it claims it can do for security solutions - instantly and simply!”

- Freud Alexandre, Enterprise Architect and Security Manager, City of New Orleans

Out of sight but not out of mind

A few years ago, the city experienced a serious virus attack. Alexandre recalled, “We did a good job mitigating the threat but it made us consider the possibility of malicious fragments being left behind that our legacy tools couldn’t detect: We just didn’t feel confident that we had the necessary capabilities to monitor and control everything that was occurring across our environment.”

The City of New Orleans’ security team investigated possible options to elevate the levels of threat detection, mitigation, and management throughout the infrastructure. “We were excited to implement the capabilities offered by the FireEye suite of solutions,” commented Alexandre. “Deploying FireEye Network Security was an extremely easy process and it quickly became evident that it would be a great fit in our environment.”

Post-Katrina donations of PCs, devices and endpoints from people across the country had really helped the city but FireEye Network Security identified an alarming number of callbacks occurring from malicious code at endpoints throughout the environment. Alexandre shared, “With FireEye Network Security we were seeing over a 1,000 callback attempts being blocked each day!”



City of New Orleans

Industry: Public Sector

Instant, real-time protection

“FireEye Network Security is configured inline to give us instant, real-time protection. What we especially like is that it is immediately able to detect and block malicious activity that is about to take place, and based on our testing, it does it in less time than it takes other products to inform us that something bad has happened,” noted Alexandre.

Email is the most used application across the City of New Orleans staff, and with the success of FireEye Network Security, Alexandre installed FireEye Email Security. “Just like FireEye Network Security, with FireEye Email Security in blocking mode we’ve seen the phishing and other malicious activity drop off enormously,” reflected Alexandre.

The city implemented FireEye Central Management to consolidate the management of the FireEye solutions. “FireEye Central Management combines the information from both FireEye Network Security and FireEye Email Security into one single-pane of glass for us,” explained Alexandre. “The administration is intuitive and really straightforward; it’s so easy to use that I don’t even feel the need to offer new team members any supplemental training. There’s no perceivable performance degradation for users and it easily handles new applications or hardware changes in the environment: We’re extremely satisfied.”

To deliver optimal protection, Alexandre has architected a layered security strategy including next-generation firewalls, an intrusion prevention system, and anti-virus software. “FireEye is the premier product in our environment for defending against zero-day, advanced threats,” he remarked. “Malware is still getting by our traditional defenses but FireEye Network Security and FireEye Email Security are able to catch whatever gets through. On top of this, I get great visibility from FireEye Central Management into what’s going on across the whole environment.”

Encouraging the city's growth

Alexandre reports to leadership on the risks that have been mitigated by the security infrastructure on a weekly basis. He enthused, “We haven’t had to worry; FireEye provides peace-of-mind, more so than anything else in our security stack. FireEye Network Security, FireEye Email Security and FireEye Central Management are the backbone to helping us get our constituents back to the city. We’re now growing, and we’re bigger and better than ever!”

In the future, the City of New Orleans is looking to integrate its security architecture under FireEye Helix security operations platform. Alexandre commented, “Helix is going to be an exceptional addition to my environment. It enables me to monitor and manage the infrastructure from anywhere in the world, automate daily tasks, and mitigate risks without having to go into the office to assess an incident.”

For any city going through a natural disaster

Alexandre offered advice to those experiencing a natural disaster, he noted: “In trying times, people from all around the world offer help, and while it is great to accept it, it’s best to take a close look at what’s really going on in your security environment. In my case, we were offered solutions that really weren’t a great fit for us, and while we were thankful, we had to look out for the city and its future first. FireEye helped us move away from probably one of the worst malware-infected environments, to a clean, robust environment.”