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Manager Wants $2.3M To Speed Cybersecurity Projects

cyber security graphic

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio will ask county commissioners Tuesday night to approve spending an additional $2.3 million to speed up cybersecurity projects. The request comes four months after a ransomware attack that crippled county computer systems. 

The money would pay for upgrades including strengthening security for card payment and health information systems, safeguarding sensitive data in public records requests, and educating employees about email phishing scams and other cyber threats. The county also plans to replace backup systems and improve network monitoring. 

December's cyberattack began when a county staffer clicked on an email that looked legitimate but triggered a program that encrypted data on county systems.  The hackers demanded a ransom payment of about $30,000.  Diorio ultimately decided not to pay the ransom, and county staff spent weeks restoring about 200 systems from backups. 

County officials have not said how much December's cyberattack cost.  At the time of the attack, the county was in the midst of a three-year plan to improve county computer security. County officials say the $2.3 million in extra funding will allow them to finish some projects in this fiscal year, which ends June 30. 

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Government Center.  See the full agenda on the county website.

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