Oakland County wins statewide IT security award

Oakland County captured the 2017 IT Security Project of the Year award from Michigan Government Management Information Sciences (MI-GMIS) at its annual conference, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced. The award recognizes the county’s implementation of a process to identify information security vulnerabilities in its systems before new applications are deployed.

“Once again, Oakland County’s IT Department demonstrates it is full of outstanding individuals who advance and support the use of technology within government to improve efficiency and customer service,” Patterson said.

The Oakland County information security team, led by Chief Information Security Officer Chris Burrows, instituted processes that test the security integrity of the county’s system. Some of the steps include:

  • Penetration tests conducted both internally and externally
  • A security scan on Oakland County’s system before production release for internally developed applications.
  • A risk assessment framework to help system owners determine a risk treatment plan for the vulnerabilities identified in the internal and external penetration tests.
  • Application build guidelines were developed for use in the application development phase to reduce security vulnerabilities that may be introduced in the system, and much more.

“Implementing security and risk management lowers application rework costs, lowers security assessment costs, and results in fewer application security incidents which results in cost savings for the taxpayers of Oakland County,” Burrows said.
Deputy Oakland County Executive and CIO Phil Bertolini agrees that these new steps to bolster information security at the county will save taxpayers money.

“It’s just common sense – identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities when developing or adding new applications is a whole lot less expensive than discovering them after launching when it could be as much as 23 times costlier to resolve,” Bertolini said.

For more information about MI-GMIS and the 2017 IT Security Project of the Year award, go to MI-GMIS.org.