Ingraham County Considering $2M Cyber Security Fortification in Wake of Attempted Cyber Attack Last Month

Media Division | May 22, 2017

Cyber attacks can cause an extremely wide range of damage and loss. An attack of a significant magnitude can result in massive amounts of financial remediation for it to be addressed. This is why it is so stressed that organizations ensure fortification of their cyber security beforehand, as proactive costs are often much less than the resultant costs of a successful cyber attack. Last month, Ingraham County in Michigan had suffered an attempted cyber attack that had resulted in immediate costs, and now further potential costs for the improvement of cyber security.

Results of the Initial Attack Attempt

The initial attack had attempted to steal banking information through the use of malware. It had ended up affecting around 1,600 workstations in 33 various departments and agencies. Fortunately, no data was able to be compromised or stolen in the attempt. It does not appear that the investigation was able to trace the source of the attack, and officials had declined to answer how it was discovered. They had then proceeded to scan various other workstations to ensure that none were infected. When all was said and done, it was estimated that the attempted attack cost them around $86,000 between employee overtime, vendor services, and IT support. Though, this is obviously more ideal than what could have been the result if the attack was successful in stealing banking information.

Plans for Improving County Cyber Security

The county is now looking forward to the future and desiring to strengthen their cyber security measures. Deb Fett, the county chief information officer, is suggesting plans to strengthen cyber security that could end up costing close to two million dollars. Fett had said in a memo that they need to be able to anticipate various scenarios that could compromise the county’s network and data. One of these suggestions is a redesign of their computer network for an estimated 1.25 million. While the plans suggested by Fett may be quite costly, the reality is that investing in cyber security is never a wasteful idea, as it is an investment in the stable operation of the organization. Fortunately, the county did have liability insurance that will potentially help to cover some of the costs.

Implementing Adequate Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

It is fortunate that the attack was not successful in the above incident, as the costs would likely have been significantly higher.  It is also smart for the county to be looking toward bolstering their security to even better prevent these types of attacks. Cyber attacks have become much for prevalent over the years as we have continued to employ more technology in our societal operations and infrastructure. For this reason, organizations and institutions must ensure that they are implementing adequate security to be able to prevent cyber attacks, as it protects their data, as well as that of their public. The responsibility for a breach rests solely on an organization when they have lacking security, as they need to ensure that their systems and networks are fortified. Even in cases of third party vendor breaches that affect peripheral organizations, the affected parties still hold responsibility, as they should have better vetted the security of the vendor. There is no excuse for lacking cyber security in this digital age. Massive Alliance offers several different security and intelligence services to help organizations better prevent cyber attacks.

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