Genesee County clerk wants to expand cyber security software

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/08/19) - The Genesee County clerks office is moving forward with getting the word out about a new proposal that could help thwart cyber attacks.

"In today's world, in today's government -- we've seen we were hacked by ransomware -- and they have been successful at many different locations across the United States," said Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said.

Hackers interrupted Genesee County business for weeks in April 2019. It amounted to just under $200,000 dollars to fix the ransomware attack, according to the county. We're told insurance covered the vast majority of that cost.

County clerk John Gleason says the register of deeds office didn't get caught in the crossfire because it's secured through an outside company, something he wants to see happen for the clerk's office as well.

"We're trying to secure in this department, the clerk's office, to the same level that we've had success in the register of deeds," Gleason said.

Gleason is proposing expanding the services of Tyler Technologies, a company that already covers cyber security for the Register of Deeds Office. Chief Deputy Register Roy Webber says it was implemented last year and is paid for through the county's tech fund at $175,000 per year.

"Our software through Tyler allows them to monitor their deed. Any time there is a change they're notified," said Roy Webber, Chief Deputy Register.

For an initial cost of $100,000 Glen Snider says the company would extend cyber security services of vital records and also provide secure online services for residents. Each year after - Gleason says would cost around $59,000. The county would have to decide if they want the software installed on site or through the cloud, managed by Tyler.

"We have 80 cyber security experts managing our data center, and they monitor all applications 24/7, 365," Snider said.

The next step is to see how commissioners will respond.

A county spokes person says the tech fund is created by a fee that is charged to those who register a deed. At the end of September the tech fund had a balance of about $26,000.00. That was the end of the fiscal year. At each recording the fund receives $5.00, according to the spokesperson.

Although Gleason maintains the register of deeds office was not impacted by April's hack, the county says all departments were impacted by the ransomware to some degree.