Information Technology and Security

Oct 06 - mkamplain
Our County
County Mayor
D. Gary Davis

For Tuesday 10/06/2015

Data is needed for business, government and personal communications to occur. This is especially true with any type of electronic communication. The ability to receive instant information from a request has become so commonplace that it reminds me of those who now tap their hands waiting on the microwave. It somehow is not fast enough now that we have become accustomed to an instant response world.

This information superhighway has many benefits, but it also can have many concerns. Not everyone that is "online” is there for your benefit. One only has to look at this current presidential election cycle to see the pitfalls and security concerns that not only can, but has arisen from non-secure communication efforts.

Bradley County does not discuss International Protocol online but there is various, multiple and important information that is transmitted daily that needs and requires reliable, safe and SECURE communication capabilities. This process is accomplished by a network of professional individuals that seek to constantly improve service capabilities while keeping record safety and security in mind with all they do each day.

Across more than 70 departments and elected offices of Bradley County Government literally millions of combined emails, attachments, requests, phone calls and even faxes happen each month. There are also over 4 million attempts in the last calendar year to breach the security systems set in place to safeguard your personal information stored throughout each of these departments. All of which were stopped with no damage, or loss of data.

Mr. Mike Sullivan manages our IT "Information Technology” department and has a working relationship with the professionals within Bradley County government as well as coordinated relationships with many professionals, who helped to build upon our system to provide greater ease of use while also trying to continue the security efforts that have been a priority for many years. It is always important to remember that a person, home or network is only as secure as "its weakest link”.

This made me think of an article I recently read that gave many tips for individuals to help ensure their not having to experience the data breach nightmare. Many ideas were mentioned but a few worth repeating included:

1) Don’t leave a password, or username, written down in view of clients or co-workers.
2) Use strong, complex passwords, and don’t share them with others.
3) Discard solicitation emails, even if forwarded by a trusted friend.
4) Do not download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
5) Beware of any email, text or phone call asking for personal information, including passwords.
6) Avoid clicking on links that people send. Use a search engine to find the proper legitimate link or type in the address manually.
7) Regularly review access controls.
8) Implement a mobile device management program.
9) Think about where sensitive information might be hiding.

The easiest, most important and usually the one that gets us all in trouble is: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is exactly that, not true.

Internet crime is this centuries "Wild West” as it seems that anything goes. When the FBI, Military, International corporations and astute businesses around the globe are struggling to remain secure from those who seek to gain information, trade secrets or even worse, personal information to intimidate and track people and their families; it is a big deal and a growing concern.

No one entity is an island, nor can or will remain immune to threats that occur daily forever. But it is a comfort to know that with the information systems in place today throughout our County, we strive to not only be good stewards with all that is entrusted to us but to also work to improve all systems, in order for Bradley County to remain Tennessee at its best!

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