Warren County, N.Y., Pushes Cybersecurity After Failed Tests

A request for bolstered cybersecurity came after officials performed a security check on county workers, sending them a "phishing" email to see how many clicked on a link that they shouldn't have.

by Don Lehman, The Post Star / September 27, 2019
Shutterstock/Alexander Supertramp

(TNS)  — The Warren County, N.Y., director of information technology gave county employees a cybersecurity test earlier this year, and more than 5 percent of the 70 workers who took it failed.

When you factor that percentage into the county work staff of 800, that's a lot of people who could have exposed the county's data to nefarious hackers.

Michael Colvin, the county's IT director, hopes that new cybersecurity training can educate county employees about what they should and shouldn't do with their computers and data.

Colvin has added a $12,000 annual subscription to a cybersecurity program into his department's budget, hoping to educate employees about the do's and don'ts of protecting their information and the county's information.

The request came after Colvin performed a security check on his fellow county workers, sending them a "phishing" email to see how many clicked on a link that they shouldn't have.

Four of the 70 who were sent the email failed the test.

He said some people need to be better trained, and he has identified a program that includes video training that should help. He likened the situation to a county Department of Public Works employee who was asked to use a chainsaw without being shown how to use it.

"We need to take an active role in protecting ourselves," he said.

Colvin said the county could get a better rate on the program if towns sign on for their employees as well. State audits also look at municipal cybersecurity these days, he pointed out.

"We can share it with the towns for a cheaper rate," he said.

Members of the county Board of Supervisors Support Services Committee took no issue with the expenditure, which will be included in the county's 2020 budget.

"This is a pretty serious issue," Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Michael Wild said.

©2019 The Post Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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