ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - It’s likely we’ve all personally encountered a cyber-attack but imagine a target like Orange County. Increased cybercriminal activity has Orange County strengthening its line of defense.
“On average, we see 40,000 intrusion attempts, per day,” said Peter Miller, Chief Security Officer, Orange County.
The 40,000 daily attacks occur on Orange County’s network.
“People want to get information from our network to resell, or to use for malicious purpose, or they’re trying to infiltrate it and extort money from us,” said Miller.
As a government entity, Orange County is a bullseye for cybercriminals. Which is why, it is strengthening its shield with a cyber-security hub, monitored 24/7 by security analysts.
“We house a lot of personal information, not only our own for the employees who work here but citizens and trade shows -- we have HIPAA information, medical information, criminal justice information,” said Miller.
Think of all your personal information, your county holds; billing information, social security numbers, credit card numbers, to name a few. Miller says the going rate on the black market for your social security number is $10 dollars, $15 bucks for your credit card number. The security hub also monitoring traffic coming in and out, in case an employee unknowingly clicks on a phishing link that grants criminals access to the system.
“We’re doing the best we can, we have tools in place and we’re actively working on this, constantly,” said Miller.
With elections around the corner, cyber-security measures are also being taking at the county’s election office.
“We’ve heeded the warning from 2016, Florida was the first state to have all of the counties use the Albert server, to monitor traffic coming in and out of our system, from that standpoint, we also have done penetration studies, we’ve built firewalls and changes, things we would not want to share,” said Bill Cowles, Supervisor of Elections, Orange County.
Security experts emphasize everyone has personal responsibility in keeping their information safe, keep it as private as possible and monitor financial statements. Protection can never be guaranteed.