Significant Rise in Cyber-Attacks on Local Governments Across the Country Since Last Year

New research from the cyber security firm ‘Recorded Future’ found a significant increase in cyber-attacks on local governments across the country, particularly in ransomware.

It has local governments in Northern Michigan taking notice.

“Cyber security is certainly a concern when you see the different cities across the country who have been the targets of cyber-attacks,” said Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager.

It’s a legitimate concern.

Right now, these attacks are up about 65% from last year.

Last November, Johannesburg-Lewiston Schools fell victim to a ransomware attack.

In 2017, the Mackinaw City website was hacked to display pro-ISIS messages.

“It’s crazy out there,” said Dell Ignalls, Partner & Businesses Development Manager at the Center for Computer Resources.

The business with an office in Petoskey works with companies as their IT experts.

They use a map to monitor hot spots for cyber-attacks and say they can be hard to clean up, so the best offense is a good defense.

“You got to have good security on your systems, Ignalls said. “Very important that you don’t use the same password on all of your accounts, that you change it regularly, and you make it a strong password.”

It’s not just technical either.

“If it looks fishy, don’t click on it,” Ignalls said. “I’m not going to follow up on it, if it’s real they’re going to call me.”

That’s part of the strategy in Charlevoix.

“It’s really a mix sometimes of making sure that you aren’t too technology reliant that you miss some common sense, human interaction,” Heydlauff said.

“This is part of the reality that we deal with now, and we just have to be on our guard the best we can,” Heydlauff said.