CyberTrust Massachusetts Launches Cybersecurity Services for Cities and Towns

May 17, 2024

The nonprofit CyberTrust Massachusetts recently launched cyber assessment and monitoring services to help cities and towns in the state address the trend of escalating cyber attacks, ransomware, infrastructure disruption and data breaches.

The launch began with a program sponsored by Plymouth County for all of its municipalities, in a new security operations center on the campus of Bridgewater State University.

CyberTrust, formed in 2022, brings together a consortium of colleges and industries from across the state to grow and diversify the cyber workforce and to strengthen the security of under-resourced entities, beginning with cities and towns.

The launch of the program comes at a time when several communities, including Concord and Lowell, are dealing with cyber attacks.

The nonprofit organization has formed a statewide Security Operations Center (SOC) at an interim site on the campus of Bridgewater State, which will to be followed by a permanent facility later this year, along with another at Springfield Union Station, led by Springfield Technical Community College and other area schools in western part of the state.

“Massachusetts has taken a unique approach to solving the related challenges of cyber workforce development and local government cybersecurity through a collaboration of business, higher education and government,” stated Peter Sherlock, CEO of CyberTrust Massachusetts. “For local communities, this means access to leading cyber solutions, with trusted advice and support, at an affordable price.”

The CyberTrust operation, which Sherlock says is akin to a teaching hospital for cybersecurity, will be led by experienced industry professionals utilizing leading cyber defense technology and services, and employing students from Bridgewater State and other partner colleges.

Student interns in the SOC will build on their cyber education to participate in assessment and testing work for municipal and K-12 customers, analyze telemetry and alerts from customer systems, and respond to incidents. The goal is for students to emerge with the hands-on, real-world experience that cyber employers need.

Cyber assessments conducted at the SOC will offer municipalities a comprehensive look at their cyber posture, and flag risks that deserve attention. Based on standards developed by the Center for Internet Security, the assessments will include interviews with key stakeholders, data collection, and targeted technical tests to evaluate defenses of email systems, local networks and computers, and access controls.

CyberTrust has partnered with cybersecurity firm OnDefend to automate the process and enable its student teams to deliver results in a predictable and safe way.

Monitoring services will be based on a Managed Endpoint Detection and Response solution from industry leader SentinelOne. It will monitor computers and servers across municipal environments, detecting suspicious and malicious activity and stopping it before it can spread.

CyberTrust was formed through a statewide collaboration led by the state agency, the MassCyberCenter at MassTech, which has also provided the organization with enabling grants.

Topics Cyber New Markets Massachusetts

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.