Customer Story

The City of Las Vegas Makes a Safe Bet on CrowdStrike for Security and Brand Protection

At four in the morning, the phone beside Michael Sherwood’s bed rang. It was the CrowdStrike Falcon Overwatch™ team and the call Sherwood hoped he would never have to receive: “Las Vegas… we have a problem.” Within an hour Sherwood, who is chief innovation officer for the City of Las Vegas, and his IT team were in the office. It was the start of a long day that would see the city — working side-by-side with CrowdStrike — stare a major cybersecurity breach in the face and beat it.

CrowdStrike found the issue, mobilized immediately and got us back to a point where we had no data loss, no major issues and were able to continue normal operations in 24-hours
Michael Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer
City of Las Vegas

The journey to the day the City of Las Vegas demonstrated its ability to tackle a major threat began when the city started to review the strength of its cybersecurity. Sherwood, who oversees digital assets and is responsible for attracting new business and innovation to the city, championed this effort.

Protecting Millions of City Residents and Visitors

About 2,700,000 residents and over 40 million yearly visitors to Las Vegas place trust in the city’s ability to ensure essential services are delivered and protected. Those services include first responders, water, electricity, fire, building and public safety. Underpinning those services is an infrastructure of digital business systems and applications. IoT network sensors and systems strategically spread across the city also support provisioning of other key services.

As the city becomes more automated and reliant on technology, defending those assets has become mission critical. “Everything is built around trust,” Sherwood said. “When you come to Las Vegas, you trust that our infrastructure, our systems, our first responders and our community will care for you. To maintain our competitive edge by continuing to bring great entertainment and great value to the people that come here, it’s imperative to have digital assets that the community trusts.”

Equally important is the Las Vegas name and promoting it as a compelling destination and technology capital. “People love coming to Las Vegas,” Sherwood explained. ”It is synonymous with world-class entertainment. We want people to enjoy the city, have a great time and come back again. Like our digital assets, we cannot afford to have anything tarnish that reputation. That is why we place a lot of emphasis on cybersecurity and ensuring digital assets remain protected and operational.”

Sherwood highlighted Las Vegas’ standing as a global destination but also acknowledged being an especially popular target for malware attacks, which, in addition to impacting the city’s brand, heightens its need to focus on security. Ironically, among the many trade, business and entertainment events that the city hosts is a prominent annual hackers’ convention.

To counter this onslaught, the city has built a multi-layered defense infrastructure of complementary security solutions and tactics. However, a legacy endpoint security product was proving increasingly difficult to use effectively. The city realized it needed a much more robust and reliable solution and so it turned to CrowdStrike.

One of The Standout Tools is CrowdStrike

The City of Las Vegas has deployed a comprehensive endpoint and managed security solution based on the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform and a range of security tools and services.

Sherwood said, “We’ve had Falcon in place for over a year now and it does what we need it to do.”

Another key element of CrowdStrike is its hybrid cloud capability. As well as on-premises systems, the city has a range of virtualized, cloud and third-party SaaS solutions. “As we move away from physical hardware and more to virtual and cloud-based systems, we are looking for partners who have the skills and technology to support that transition,” Sherwood said. “CrowdStrike has helped us work through that migration.”

Sherwood also is enthusiastic about the advanced technologies that CrowdStrike has developed.

Being able to use the CrowdStrike platform to create a centralized, single view and analyze the consolidated data using artificial intelligence and advanced feature sets means we can force-multiply the impact of our cybersecurity professionals. This kind of approach is critical going forward.
Michael Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer
City of Las Vegas