City of Madison budgets $200K for cybersecurity

Preventing Cyber Attacks

MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Every day more and more of our work and lives are moving online, especially in light of the pandemic.

That’s why all cities have to work hard to stay protected against potential hackers. Even with the best software system a hacker can get their hands on company information through something as simple as someone clicking on an email.

That’s why education and technology advancements are so important.

Both the Madison and Huntsville mayors tell us training employees is a critical part of the process.

You may remember $300,000 is how much the city of Florence had to fork over to hackers in May after a cyber attack.

“We’ve been investing more because of attacks like this, or because of the fear of cyber attacks like this," said Paul Finley, Mayor of Madison. “You’re never guaranteed, we all know that, but what we’re doing everything we can to minimize the possibility of having an intrusion,"

Finley says the city allocated one fifth of its capital budget for IT advancements. Essentially the city is getting a software makeover that costs $200,000.

Finley says it was time to make some major upgrades.

“A computer right now in two to three years it’s time to get another one. I don’t think that changes in a lot of instances when it comes to the hardware and software that’s needed to manage a city and the city infrastructure," Finley said.

Mayor Battle says the city’s annual budget allows for improvements to the cyber security software.

“It seems like every year we’re adding to the levels of protection that are around our system," Battle said.

Both Mayor Finley and Mayor Battle agree, educating city employees is extremely important.

“Any plan has fallacies, any plan can be beaten. It takes human interaction, human responsibility. It’s very important that we all stay secure and we all educate ourselves on how to keep from getting hacked. Every person out there has that potential,” Battle said.

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