Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

City Manager Declares War on Cyber Attacks – Fortifying City IT: It Will Be Expensive

LAKE CITY, FL – Tonight in City Hall, City Manager Joe Helfenberger will be advancing his continuing plan to secure the City's IT resources from another cyber attack. It will be expensive.

City Mngr Joe Helfenberger

City Manager Helfenberger's first proposal will require 2 forms of authentication from system users: the first being a user password and the second being a device password.

This protection is being purchased through the General Services Administration at a cost not to exceed $11,784.64.

License renewals will run about $5k a year.

In plain English: the device password, or token, recognizes that the machine looking to access the network is cleared to do so.

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City Manager Declares War on Cyber Attacks – Fortifying City IT: It Will Be Expensive
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Lake City Finally Admits to Cyber Ransom, FL League of Cities to Pay Approx $474,000
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City Hit by Cyber Attack: Was it the "Triple Threat," Inadequate Malware Protection, Human Error?  (June 11, 2019)

This contract is with Diverse Computing, Inc., which goes by the name of "e Agent".

Mr. Helfenberger's second proposal is with SHI International, Corp. (SHI). The rates are piggybacked off a Florida Department of Management Services Contract (DMS).

The contracted services are stated to "purchase software to monitor and manage the City's network systems and information technology infrastructure: the cost - $41,939.83.

Another contract with SHI is to setup cloud based back up with Amazon Cloud, the cost: $5,200.

Another contract utilizing a DMS piggyback is one with Computers At Work!, Inc., for the purchase of hardware and software "to enhance the City's network systems and information technology infrastructure: the cost: $174,051.33.

In plain English: this is to purchase the backup hardware and software.

On Sunday, City Manager Helfenberger explained to your reporter the reason for all the different purchases. He said, "You need surveillance and then timely action, you also need a backup and redundancy."

Mr. Helfenberger said the payment of the $174k is for a 5 year contract and that paying in advance allows the City to get a better deal.

If all this is approved this evening, the total cost is $279,775.80.

It doesn't end here.

Still to come on August 19 is a "managed solution" where everything will be looked at and additional suggestions will be made for other upgrades.

That is scheduled to cost between $122k and $240k. According to Mr. Helfenberger, he is working to secure an Air Force contract through the Department of Defense. If the procurement issues can be worked out "it would give us more for 122k than 240k," he said.

Mr. Helfenberger mentioned that the County has "fully cooperated with the City" through its trying IT times.

Good News

City Manager Helfenberger said that 99% of the City's ransomed data "has been recovered, including the information maintained by the City Clerk."


Mr. Helfenberger mentioned that the new security protocols enacted by the City foiled another attempted cyber attack which came through on an email attachment.

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