by Jim Smilie

Working to improve the cybersecurity culture within the City of Alexandria, the City partnered with public software provider Tyler Technologies to provide cybersecurity and awareness training.

The partnership was created as part of the Capstone Challenge initiative by the National League of Cities. The
Capstone Challenge was a six-month pilot program beginning in June of 2021 that facilitated partnerships
between cities and enterprise partners to create innovative solutions to benefit the member cities. A total of 17
cities and eight companies participated in the initial program. Topics covered include access to city services,
retail needs, law enforcement training, mobility services, broadband access, and transportation issues as they
relate to access to COVID vaccine.

Alexandria chose to focus on cybersecurity. As the enterprise partner, Tyler Technologies, based in Plano,
Texas, provided several hours of training focusing on people, processes and technology.

“Cybersecurity is a philosophy. It has to be taken into consideration at every level of an organization if it’s
going to work well,” explained Gary Soucy, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor with Tyler Technologies. “It’s not
something that can be bolted on, it has to be baked into an organization’s mindset.”

City of Alexandria Information Systems Manager Greg Able said, “Cybersecurity is an ongoing process as new
and more sophisticated threats to data systems are developed every day. We appreciate the opportunity to work
with partners like Tyler Technologies to help us better identify risks and improve our existing cybersecurity

Documentation of policies and practices is one of the key areas Soucy said the training encouraged. He noted
many organizations have IT Leaders with a solid practical knowledge of cybersecurity practices. However,
when those experienced people leave, that knowledge disappears with them if it has not been well documented.

Soucy added cybersecurity is more than protecting data. “You have to protect the people – not just the
information, but the people themselves. You have to make sure the building is secure and that employees are
safe and that you have the right technologies and processes in place to ensure their safety,” he said.

“After working with Tyler Technologies, the City of Alexandria got a better understanding of its cyber
readiness,” said Mayor Jeff Hall. “To build on its existing cybersecurity program, the City learned ways to
improve awareness and culture among its employees. The National League of Cities is a tremendous resource
for Alexandria, and we are grateful for their partnership.”


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