Delaware County boosts cyber security


Delaware County commissioners have approved a contract to boost the county’s cyber security.

Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to award a $157,000 contract with FireEye Inc. to help prevent a data breach.

“We’re all very concerned about cyber security and this is one of the big threats that does exist nowadays,” said Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton.

The need for an additional layer of security arose following an attempt to hack the county’s system with a cryptovirus. Cryptoviruses attack computer systems by encrypting documents, making them unreadable. The hackers typically ask for a ransom to unencrypt the documents.

Miami County recently fell victim to a cryptovirus. Not many documents were impacted, but the county was forced to pay hackers $700, plus consulting fees to a security firm that handled the ransom payment. Steve Lewis, Delaware County’s director of information technology, said the ransom amounts are normally determined by the number of encrypted documents.

Once final approval is received from the data board, the added layer of security can be added within a week, according to Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa.

“I think this is a real solid three-year program to protect the county,” said Benton.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Perry Township Police Department to provide IT services that will allow its vehicles to be monitored through GPS technology.

Through the agreement, Perry Township will be provided with the services for free.

However, commissioners said that could change.

“If this becomes a big program, we probably should be reimbursed for our costs,” said Benton.

Commissioner Gary Merrell said the program will allow for a one-year trial period.

“At some point we have to realize those costs should be shared if others are going to take advantage of those services,” he said. “We’ll have a year to take a look at it. We’ll have a year to evaluate it, and then we can make an assessment at that time.”

By Dustin Ensinger

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Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.

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