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Texas DIR Partners with FireEye on Ransomware Defense

The Texas Department of Information Resources has negotiated a partnership with cybersecurity firm FireEye and will now be able to offer affordable security services to state and local agencies.

by / September 18, 2020

With ransomware attacks against government on the rise, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) has teamed up with global cybersecurity vendor FireEye to provide low-cost malware defense to state and local agencies across the Lone Star state.  

The new services are being made available via DIR's Bulk Purchase Initiative, which allows it to facilitate procurement of IT hardware and software products on behalf of other state and local agencies. Through cooperative contracts, agencies gain access to products and services at significantly discounted rates. 

The recently negotiated arrangement with the firm includes a number of endpoint detection and response solutions, such as its network, email and endpoint security services, as well as threat intelligence and managed defense programs through the company's Mandiant Solutions. 

This focus on increased defense is well timed, given that ransomware has proven a particularly pernicious problem for agencies in Texas. Last summer, the state infamously saw 22 different communities simultaneously infected with ransomware in one coordinated attack. Since then, a number of offices have very publicly suffered similar fates, including the Texas Department of Transportation, law enforcement agencies (including a county sheriff's office), and judicial systems, like the Office of Court Administration, the IT provider for agencies within the Texas Judicial Branch. 

“DIR has made resources available to the Texas public sector market to effectively combat the evolving threat of ransomware, and the need for these resources became even more apparent following last August’s ransomware attack on multiple local governments across Texas,” said DIR Executive Director Amanda Crawford. “With these contracts for robust cybersecurity tools and services, we’re enabling Texas government entities to efficiently strengthen their ransomware defenses.”

FireEye has seen its ransomware investigations "skyrocket" in recent years, said Pat Sheridan, senior vice president of sales, Americas, at FireEye.  

“When organizations can detect and remediate the initial compromise quickly, it is possible to avoid the significant damage and cost of a ransomware infection. We applaud DIR for paving a clear path forward for its local agencies,” said Sheridan. 

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Lucas Ropek Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

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