Cyber security contract approved after 2019 ransomware attack

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — To prevent another ransomware attack like the one that struck Vigo County last year, Commissioners Tuesday approved a cyber security contract to secure its sensitive information.

Ransomware locks down servers and information, and those responsible demand payment for the files to be released.

“We need to make sure that we keep our information as secure as possible as we move away from paper and we store stuff on servers,” said Commissioner Brendan Kearns. “We need to continually invest in the technology to protect everybody’s information. This is a step in the right direction.”

The contract is with security firm KnowBe4 who specialize in information security. It is estimated to cost the county $18,000 over a three-year period.

“We want to look at how email comes in and how it can impact our servers, something that we have been doing for years,” Kearns said. “But as the baddies out there try to get into systems, they seem to be a step ahead of a lot of people that get compromised.”

Vigo County residents such as construction worker Chris Wright worry about how a ransomware attack could impact their day-to-day business.

“If I couldn’t come in to get building permits and licenses and stuff, that would alter my jobs and my schedules,” Wright said. “If I couldn’t start a schedule and get going on things, it could throw me off.”

Shelly Smith, another local resident said the contract is long overdue.

“I’m excited to know that there is a contract being signed today to prevent this from happening in the future,” she said. “But my opinion is, it should have been done a long time ago.”

The County’s primary concern is protecting its residents, according to Kearns.

“It’s almost something new every day, but we are doing our part to invest in our security to protect the residents’ information,” he said.

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