Information Technology

luca-bravo-XJXWbfSo2f0-unsplashProvides professional, responsive support to effectively deliver technology services and innovative solutions to Rice County.

The IT Department is responsible for all facets of technology in Rice County, including planning and forecasting, researching new and possible technology uses, operating and maintaining computer equipment, and administering the county network.

The IT Department delivers technology consulting and implementation services to all county departments by providing

  • Technology planning
  • Solutions architecture
  • Systems design
  • Project management
  • Help Desk services for all the county’s computers, networks, systems and software applications

The IT Department also implements information systems technology that enable other county departments to provide enhanced public services.

Services provided by the Information Technology Department:

  • Supports county staff by answering technology support questions and devising solutions to their problems
  • Supports, maintains, configures and enhances existing systems and networks as well as deploys new hardware and software
  • Provides guidance and consultation to end users with regard to IT projects and purchases
  • Researches and devises strategies for the further utilization of automation and new technologies to enhance the quality and productivity of county operations
  • Develops, documents and implements the policies and procedures designed to foster the efficient and secure utilization of Rice County’s technology investment.

Intrusion Detection Systems and related technology

Rice County IT utilizes Darktrace as a network Intrusion prevention system. Below is information regarding the choice to utilize this system.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) are security systems used by IT departments to monitor network traffic for signs of a breach. IDS are dedicated to monitoring and alerting IT staff of a breach while IPS are focused on blocking problematic traffic when detected.

There are several enterprise-grade products to provide IDS and IPS functionality. Rice County utilizes a product known as Darktrace to fill this role. Darktrace has additional analysis capabilities that place outside of the standard IDS/IPS category but fills the same function in a network. Specialized data networks or stand-alone services are not monitored by this product.

Darktrace monitors the network and notes breaks from usual traffic. If traffic varies too much from usual and is deemed potentially suspicious, Darktrace will log the event and notify IT. If the behavior is suspicious above certain thresholds it will take additional action to block traffic and quarantine the suspicious device.

Darktrace is integrated into other security services used by Rice County and is an important tool in protecting county data and resources.