McLean County Adds Ransomware Protection Amid Higher Insurance Costs | WGLT

McLean County Adds Ransomware Protection Amid Higher Insurance Costs

Feb 21, 2020

McLean County is increasing its ransomware protection while facing sharp rises in insurance costs.

McLean County Board Chairman John McIntyre said the county needed to increase its projection against a ransomware attack.
Credit Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

County Board chairman John McIntyre said on Sound Ideas the county can't afford to leave its IT infrastructure vulnerable as governments have become more frequent targets.

“When we have a county as large as ours and the court system is counting on us," McIntyre said. "There’s so many things with our electronic justice information systems that we just felt like we had to have more coverage than that.

"The difference in the cost was significant, but it’s worth it.”

The county is paying close to $30,000 more for $3 million of coverage, $1 million more than the county purchased previously.

County Board member William Caisley wondered if the additional financial protection would make the county a more tempting target for hackers.

“By getting cyber insurance we may be inviting any ransom that might be demanded, since it’s now known how much insurance we have,” Caisley said. “That may be a problem.”

McIntyre said he doubted that.

“I think the ones that are doing it are mostly internationally based (and I don't know) if they are going to single us out whether we’ve got $2 million or $3 million coverage,” McIntyre said.

The county's insurance costs are up about $157,000, or 22%, from 2019. A McLean County highway worker death has raised workers compensation premiums, and its McLean County Nursing Home liability increased after a lawsuit settlement.

McIntyre said the county will simply have to budget for the additional costs, noting premiums fluctuate from year to year.

“I think overall, we’re doing alright, we just have to manage that, but obviously we have to do it,” McIntyre said.

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