Cobb County will buy two new Cisco Firepower firewalls for $396,398 to better protect the county’s cybersecurity posture. AJC file photo

Cobb to increase computer security

Cobb computer services will become more secure from cyber threats.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners unanimously decided July 25 to buy two Cisco Firepower firewalls and implementation services for $396,398 under provisions of a U.S. General Services Administration contract with Sovereign Systems.

Existing Data Center firewalls were purchased in 2012 and are nearing their end of life, according to Cobb Information Services Director Sharon Stanley, Cobb Purchasing Director Joe Tommie and Cobb Support Services Agency Director Eddie Canon in a memo to County Manager Rob Hosack.

“Advances in cyber threats and increased internet usage in support of Cobb County government applications and services require more advanced firewall protection to support a multilayer, in-depth security posture,” they said.

“Threat defense firewalls are critical to enable citizens to effectively and securely interact and conduct business with the county,” they added.

Of the four leading enterprise firewalls - Palo Alto, Fortinet, Checkpoint and Cisco, the next-generation Cisco Firepower firewall was determined to best meet the county criteria and most suitable to replace the two current firewalls and enhance the county’s overall cybersecurity posture.

The firewalls will be moved to the new data center when it opens.

Funding will come from the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Recurring annual maintenance costs are estimated to be $20,591, beginning in Fiscal Year 2023, and will be requested within the normal biennial budget process.

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