Hacking of Upstate Police Prove The Need For Stronger Cyber Security

Cyber security attacks are on the rise and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, headquartered in Watkins Glen, New York, just became the latest target. What occurred in the past week illustrates just how vulnerable the local government networks may be. Peter Kehoe, Director of the New York State Sheriffs Association, announced that their 911 emergency and dispatch system crippled due to a hacking attack, temporarily impairing the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department’s full ability to protect the public.

The hacking was a direct attack from a foreign country, according to a statement made by Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman Jr. Hackers made several password attempts before accessing the system.

This attack comes after the release of an August 2017 report by SecurityScoreboard that found that government networks are more vulnerable to attacks than fast-food chains. It reports, “Once a hacker is inside the organization's network, digital assets can be compromised or stolen outright, throwing operations into chaos.”

Often times, local governments lack funding to hire cyber security professionals and have to rely on the county’s information technology department to handle such needs. Latest technologies, like Fortr3ss, are designed to replace those departments and revolutionize the way consumers, businesses, and agencies stay secure- from voice biometric authentication to AD identity services.

The recent attack has prompted the New York State Association of Counties to arrange a workshop on cyber attacks and the importance of online security in an annual conference in Syracuse, September 13th - September 15th.