Cyber Attack Hits Franklin County Indiana Financial System

Media Division | August 24, 2017

Cyber attacks are one of the largest threats that organizations face in today’s world. Being that we use technology in virtually all of our modern transactions and business dealings, it is up to these organizations to properly protect the customer and financial data is stored and transferred within these operations. It is no different for government organizations either, as they often hold data that is critical to the operations and running of states and countries. Government organizations tend to be a valuable target for attackers because of the highly sensitive information that they hold. In a recent incident, the Franklin County Indiana Auditor’s Office was hit by a cyber attack targeting their finance systems.

The Results of the Attack

Franklin County uses Low Financial System software to track their finances, and this was what was hit in the attack. Unfortunately, it seems that the county is remaining pretty tight lipped in regards to what specifically was affected in the attack. They did not say much in regard to the effects, other than only work done on Thursday had been lost by virtue of a backup done the night before. The attack prompted Franklin County Auditor Karla Bauman and Treasurer Veronica Voelker to block outside access from viewing content within the system, and this even includes removing other county official’s access. As a handling for this, Bauman said she would set up a computer system in her office for county officials to view information within the system. Low Associates of Indiana provides the software, and they have been working with the county in attempts to retrieve as much data as possible from what was lost from Thursday. The county is currently unsure as to whether the breach was internal or remote, but it is currently under investigation by the State Police. The lack of data regarding the incident is because the Indiana State Police investigator had requested that the Auditor’s Office not share information about the breach publicly and keep it confidential. We may see more information in regard to the source and method of attack once the investigation has been completed.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Franklin County Auditor’s Office has been targeted in an attack, nor is it the first time that it involved the Low system. In fact, a previous incident had occurred just this past June. It appears they kept this earlier incident under wraps as well, as not much data was provided about it other than it occurring. Being that the most recent incident so closely followed the first, this is likely why they felt it best to completely revoke outside access all together as a matter of prevention.

How Cyber Security Monitoring Can Help to Prevent Attacks and Breaches

Attacks like the above prove the need for comprehensive cyber security monitoring. Far too many organizations tend to be unaware of the constant status of their networks and systems, which is vital in preventing and expelling attacks or threats. It allows IT staff or an analyst to have a constant awareness of the various operations, and they will also receive alerts in regard to any anomalies or unauthorized access. Of course, this gives them the ability to then investigate these alerts and rapidly address them if turning out to be malicious. In this way, threats and attackers can be repelled or expelled before they have a chance to do much. Lack of proper monitoring is why many organizations have breaches or attacks that go on for months or years. Massive Alliance’s cyber security monitoring services can help ensure that your systems and networks are clear of any traffic that does not belong.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.