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The City of Bettendorf, a thriving community in southeastern Iowa, faced the challenge of finding a cost-effective and low-maintenance SIEM solution to meet CJIS compliance requirements. With a small IT team responsible for managing various aspects of the city’s technology infrastructure, they needed a tool that could provide the necessary security without overburdening their resources.

Monte Sonksen, IT Manager at the City of Bettendorf, spent 18 months building out their security program and identifying the right tools to keep the agency safe. One of the critical requirements was compliance with the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) framework, mandated by the FBI to protect criminal justice data processed by law enforcement agencies.

After evaluating several vendor solutions, including Rapid 7, Qualys, Splunk, and CIS, the City of Bettendorf chose Blumira for its additional security value, ease of use, and because it enabled them access their own logs directly. Blumira’s platform provided not only SIEM capabilities but also XDR functionality, filling a significant gap that many other products failed to address.

“[Blumira] is not just a SIEM, but your platform provides all of the reporting on top of that; it fills a huge gap that not many other products do,” Sonksen said. “I liked that I had the ability to access and dig into our own logs for investigation. Blumira also provides curated rules and walks us through how to resolve them.”

Blumira’s curated ruleset, developed and tested by their incident detection engineers, was a significant factor in the City of Bettendorf’s decision. This feature helps identify early warning signs of attacker behavior while reducing false positives and noisy alerts, allowing the IT team to focus on critical issues.

The Blumira team’s exceptional customer support was another standout aspect of the partnership. Sonksen praised the positive experience with Blumira’s sales team, solution engineers, and 24/7 Security Operations (SecOps) team, stating that it surpassed his previous experiences with multi-million dollar contracts at a Fortune 100 company.

Blumira’s pricing model, based on the number of knowledge workers (employees who use a computer) rather than the amount of data ingested, was also a significant advantage for the City of Bettendorf. This predictable pricing structure is particularly valuable in the government space, where budgets are tight, and unexpected costs can be problematic.

“The biggest value is that you have people configuring the alerts to catch potential threats. If we had to configure our own alerts, we wouldn’t,” Sonksen said. “Having your research team and threat hunters behind the scenes building the rules to trigger those findings is extremely valuable.”

With the Blumira SIEM + XDR solution, the City of Bettendorf can now confidently meet CJIS compliance requirements while benefiting from a cost-effective, easy-to-use platform that provides the necessary security without straining their IT team’s resources.

Experience the Blumira solution yourself with — try Blumira XDR for free for 30 days, and use our free SIEM forever at no cost.

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