Legislature to beef up computer security

CATSKILL — Planning for extensive daily use and the possibility of cyberattack, county lawmakers passed a resolution last week to upgrade security measures, wiring, cables, software and computer equipment in the Greene County Office Building.

Before it was brought up at the legislature’s Government Operations meeting, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden discussed the background and reasons to get new equipment.

“As computer technology has expanded, we’ve added a server, we’ve added a telecom room, etc,” Groden said.

The idea to overhaul the county’s computer system came after the Greene County 911 Center had its entire computer network upgraded because they were experiencing problems. The Greene County 911 building’s upgrade was completed in late spring and the problems surrounding its technology disappeared.

“The county had the same issue here with this building,” Groden said. “We’ve had some obsolescence of equipment in this facility.”

The new equipment will also include cybersecurity software to help prevent attacks and hacking which Groden said is a problem for internet users on a daily basis.

“It makes the hair stand up on my back I guess,” Groden said of cyberattacks. “Part of this is inclusive of improving software to beat back any of these attacks that you get from the guy who wants to give you the money from Uganda.”

The building’s existing technology is upwards of 15 years old, making it more susceptible to a cyberattack. There are 375 computer stations used by county employees, making the vulnerability of attack larger, Groden said. Tax records, mental health files, criminal justice records and other confidential data have to be safeguarded.

“It’s a whole industry now,” Groden said. “If the Pentagon can get hacked, county government can get hacked.”

The county building’s main software program is being upgraded because the shelf life of the existing version will expire Jan. 1, 2018, Groden said. Typically,…

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