For the past two weeks, Washington County has been wrestling with a ransomware cyber attack that has disrupted their systems. This situation prompted an emergency meeting held by the county commissioners to address the pressing issue. The attack has not only interrupted the county’s functioning but also necessitated considerable efforts from IT professionals to restore services and secure systems against potential future threats. Investigations are being carried out with the assistance of the FBI and Homeland Security.
Rapid response to cyber threat
The commissioners, during the emergency meeting, approved several measures to mitigate the crisis. One such step was the engagement of a Chicago-based cybersecurity firm. This firm, tasked with recovering the network and enhancing cybersecurity measures, will be instrumental in the county’s fight against such cyber threats. The commissioners also approved the coverage of legal fees and potential settlements arising from the attack.
Funding for cybersecurity measures
The total cost of these efforts is estimated to be around $400,000. In a move that aligns with the guidelines of the American Rescue Plan, the required funds will be sourced from the county’s allocation of the same. The usage of these funds is particularly apt, given that the guidelines prioritize the modernization of systems and the enhancement of cybersecurity.
Efforts for system recovery and future protection
Another significant decision made during the meeting was the approval of a motion that allows the county solicitor to engage with any agreements related to the ransomware attack. This move is a clear reflection of the county’s determination to resolve the current crisis and safeguard against future cyber threats.