The City Council of San Antonio, TX recently approved a $4 million agreement with Port San Antonio to develop the Alamo Regional Security Operations Center (ARSOC). The center will serve as the cybersecurity hub for the municipal government and city-related agencies.
ARSOC will be a cybersecurity information-sharing facility including the city, CPS Energy, San Antonio Water System and VIA Metropolitan Transit.
“ARSOC itself represents a national example of a collaborative community working toward enhanced cybersecurity and critical infrastructure security and resiliency,” said Will Garrett, vice president and director of cybersecurity development at the port. “The integrated security operations center is effectively increasing our ability to provide cybersecurity services to the city and to the community as a whole.”
ARSOC will cost $150,000 annually to operate, which will come out of the city’s information technology services department budget. The center is expected to grow to become a resource to a much broader region of Central and Southwest Texas
“What we want to become is a model urban cybersecurity center of excellence where we could rein municipal agencies together into one place physically, but also share data, share talent, share knowledge, train together, respond to events together, all in one community operations center,” said Craig Hopkins, chief information officer for the city.
Last year, 22 municipalities in Texas were hit in a coordinated ransomware attack, considered to be one of the largest attacks on municipal governments in the US.
“We’re constantly under attack from foreign nation states, internal organizations, and all you’ve got to do to put details together is look at the cities that have been ransom-wared — that alone is the primary threat that we’re trying to alleviate,” Hopkins said.