Saturday, September 18, 2021

Southlake’s First Line of Defense Against Cyber Attacks

The City has always placed a high priority on cybersecurity to better protect and serve our community, its citizens and employees. Now we are increasing our commitment with an “unsung hero.”

This is especially important in a time of heightened awareness of cyber-attacks against businesses, governments and individuals. In fact, the City leadership team has taken a lead role in thwarting any unwanted breaches by creating a cybersecurity position within the City. Drawing from its pool of highly talented and experienced Information Technology (IT) experts, Alan Goldsworthy was chosen and tasked with being the City’s cybersecurity expert.

Before accepting this role, Alan sought and successfully obtained a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designation, a difficult certification that required a large commitment of time and effort.

Once in place, Alan began spearheading a multi-pronged effort to protect our systems from intrusion through both physical and people initiatives.

On the physical side, facilities have been put in place and are regularly updated to assist with blocking attempts from the outside world, also known as perimeter intrusions. Internally, he ensures that individual user systems and virus protection are current. This helps prevent intrusions through things that may be inadvertently shared. Other security initiatives are planned for this year.

On the people side, Alan is focused on efforts to strengthen our “human firewall.” The City has partnered with KnowBe4, a leading company in human security training and testing. Employees have already noticed testing and training of our users on things to look for when operating in today’s environment where criminals attempt to obtain sensitive information through misleading contact (typically emails). These “phishing” attempts can be devastating if the user is not vigilant when receiving them. Alan’s job is to remain up-to-date on the latest campaigns through continual training.

City Manager Shana Yelverton says, “Alan works behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly and securely. I think we can all agree that, in spite of the complexity of the work he performs, Alan is always ready with a smile and a ‘How can I help you’ attitude. His enthusiasm for his work is undeniable.”

Alan recently received the first Unsung Hero award by City Manager Yelverton. His dedication and work ethic make Alan one of the City’s great unsung heroes.


Alan Goldsworthy pic