Insurance to Cover Cybercrime Cost Connecticut Community

Core functions, including web browsing and email, were back up and running after the Vernon, Conn., town government and schools were without internet access for about a week in the aftermath of the incident.

by Anthony Branciforte, Journal Inquirer / March 3, 2020

(TNS) — The criminal investigation into a suspected Feb. 8 hacking attempt on the town computer systems is still ongoing, and work is being done to restore full functionality, Town Administrator Michael Purcaro said.

Core functions, including web browsing and email, were back up and running after the town government and schools were without Internet access for about a week during the initial stages of the investigation. Purcaro said there was no unauthorized access to any sensitive information resulting from the incident.

Some government functions remain offline, but officials did not want to give specifics, citing the pending criminal investigation.

Most Internet functions were temporarily shut down as a precautionary measure while police and hired cybersecurity experts investigated. For that time, officials were without any Internet access, and teachers were unable to use any Internet-based educational tools in classrooms.

But police Lt. William Meier said there was “minimal impact” on town and school functions because officials used workarounds while investigators ensured that no sensitive data was breached and worked to find the root of the issue.

Purcaro said cybersecurity measures have run up a total cost of about $150,000 thus far, but the town is only responsible for $10,000 of that cost because its insurance policy has a $10,000 deductible.

Purcaro said he could not provide further information because of the ongoing investigation, but he stressed the importance of cybersecurity in town.

“Our daily life and our local government operations depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace,” he said. “For these reasons, the town of Vernon continuously assesses and enhances its information security programs by taking various measures, including mandatory cybersecurity training for staff.”

©2020 Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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