It’s well known that cyber attacks on businesses are increasing every year. The fact that the number of city governments falling victim to hackers as well is just coming to light. In Connecticut alone, the City of West Haven, the Derby Police Department, and the Bridgeport School District have all experienced cyber attacks in the past year inflicting varying degrees of damage.
WFSB Channel 3 Eyewitness News (the Hartford-area CBS affiliate) noticed this trend too and produced an excellent piece showing how one municipal organization, Old Mystic Fire Department, is taking a proactive approach with Kelser to protect their data and safeguard their systems.
Reporter Matthew Campbell met us at the fire house to learn about why municipal governments are being targeted by hackers and how they can protect themselves. Local governments make primate targets for ransomware attacks because, with vital services to provide, they simply can’t tolerate downtime for very long. Hackers think they’re likely to cave and pay the ransom (a county in Georgia recently paid a massive $400,000 ransom to get their systems unlocked after a ransomware attack).
In addition, local governments have a great deal of valuable data to protect. You wouldn’t think of a fire department as a treasure trove for hackers, but as Assistant Chief Angel Otano points out in the Channel 3 story, fire departments respond to medical calls frequently and have to log patient data. Medical data is one of the most valuable types of information for hackers to steal.
Last fall, Kelser did an assessment of OMFD's cybersecurity, identifying gaps and weaknesses. We implemented a new cybersecurity strategy and manage OMFD's cybersecurity and data backup systems on an on-going basis. By moving more of OMFD's data to the cloud, Kelser eliminated physical security vulnerabilities and helped OMFD reduce IT costs.
“Previously, IT was done by a volunteer,” Otano told Channel 3, “so if the volunteer is not current and they’re just doing it because they like computers, then their skill level is not going to be up to what someone who is coming after you is.” Kelser’s Defend Forward cybersecurity-as-a-service offering spreads out the cost of shoring up cybersecurity measures.
The Channel 3 story caught the attention of Connecticut broadcasting legend Brad Davis who invited me to be a guest on his show on WDRC 1360 AM The Talk of Connecticut a couple of days after it aired. Listen to that interview here:
About George W Kudelchuk III
George’s primary passion is working hand-in-hand with his clients to define and deploy the solutions that best fit their unique circumstances.