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Ashtabula County, Ohio, Recorder’s Office Back Online After Hack

The December cyber attack against third-party vendor Cott Systems knocked the records services offline for several weeks. Officials now report that the system is back online and that no data was lost in the incident.

(TNS) — The Ashtabula County Recorder's Office is back online and recording documents after a cyber attack on one of the office's vendors in late December knocked services offline for several weeks.

County Recorder Barbara Schaab said services came back online on Tuesday.

The office recorded documents they had received in the office on Tuesday, and recorded documents that had been submitted electronically on Wednesday, she said.

"So all of our recordings are now current, and I'm really happy about that," Schaab said.

The office briefly lost connection with their system for about 10 minutes, but the vendor, Cott Systems was already working on it, she said.

Schaab said no data was lost because of the attack.

"That's the worst case scenario, that you might get up and running but data was lost," she said. "That was not the case."

Schaab said she would like to see what options are available to improve security and stability on her end of the equation.

She previously said her files were secured in a Department of Defense-certified data center in Columbus.

The attack took place around Christmas, she said previously. The status of the office's external search function is still unknown, she said.

"I'm not ready to switch vendors, because I think, in a digital age, it can happen to anyone," she said. "I know some records did that. I'm not looking to do that. I'm looking for something, an auxiliary thing that would possibly safeguard a little more."

She said one thing she may change in the wake of the issues is printing out index pages, lists of recorded documents, that could be accessed from her office.

"When those index pages were not available, the whole industry of transfer of property basically stopped until we could figure something out," Schaab said. "Beyond that, I do need to talk to the vendor to find out a little more details as to what happened, and then what protocol I can put into place."

People were upset when the services were disrupted, Schaab said.

"It was really nobody's fault, except the person that did it," she said. "You get a good take-away or you learn you lesson, and you move forward."

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