Town of Essex Invests in Cyber Insurance

AM800-News-Cyber-Attack-May2017

The Town of Essex is going the extra mile to protect its online data.

Council this week approved spending $15,000 for the remainder of the year on cyber insurance.

That insurance will cover up to $1 million should a cyber-attack occur.

Manager of Information Technology Jack Barron calls it a necessity in today's world.

"It covers ransom, it covers all the forensics to look into our network," says Barron. "How, why it happened, the ability to get our network back online, any recovery if there's information that needs to go to the public so any legal issues it covers that as well."

Barron tells AM800 News, it's something municipalities have to consider.

"Unfortunately, it's a necessity," says Barron. "There's ransomware, spyware, all sorts of things that can infiltrate a network and we just have to protect our IT assets."

The OPP issued an advisory last September after a rash of cyberattacks on Ontario municipal governments in which hackers demand a ransom to unlock compromised systems.

Barron admits it's sad that municipalities have to consider this type of protection.

"I just want to be able to provide services to our users but now security is the biggest part," says Barron. "No matter what, somebody is trying to get in, there's hackers out there that are trying to infiltrate networks, trying to steal data just to be able to make some money off of it."

Officials in Midland and Wasaga Beach discovered last summer that many of the town's servers had been compromised and locked down.

A number of other Canadian municipalities have also been affected in the last year.