Municipal governments are confronted by an unprecedented number of cybersecurity risks. Large and small cities alike are targeted in phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks. Without robust IT support and reliable network security, your system is vulnerable. That’s exactly what happened to California City before they became a Diamond IT client.
Network Security Is Key to Protecting Cities
Located in Kern County, California City is home to a population of just over 13,800. Unreliable, aging technology caused city employees to create inventive workarounds. Employees experienced frequent IT outages. Servers and computers regularly crashed so often that the city finance manager worked off a thumb drive to complete the annual budget, afraid she’d lose her work otherwise.
California City did have IT support from a single-person provider. But overseeing every aspect of the network is too much for one person. The city management team reached out to Diamond IT because they wanted comprehensive solution from a provider who could work with their budget to create a more sustainable, secure IT network.
The city added Diamond IT’s services to the budget for the coming fiscal year and waited for approval.
The Cybersecurity Challenges of Ransomware
As city council debated the annual budget, California City’s server slowed down. It was a common issue and no one thought anything of it. Days later, they experienced what seemed like another server outage. City management couldn’t reach their IT provider. California City didn’t have a contract to work with Diamond IT, but the city needed help and called anyway. Within 2 hours, Diamond IT’s experts arrived and began to diagnose the outage. It only took 10 minutes for the Diamond IT team to realize the entire network was infected with ransomware.
Getting the City’s Network Security Back Online
The first priority was for Diamond IT to isolate every machine from the internet so the attack couldn’t spread. Then, they took physical inventory of every asset to ensure that all potentially affected machines were accounted for.
Unable to access the backups through city managers or the IT manager, Diamond IT worked directly with the backup vendor. This meant the city regained access to their files without having to pay the ransom.
After securing the backups, recovery could begin. Each machine was wiped clean, and a new version of Windows was installed so the system could be manually rebuilt. All files were then restored from the backups. In total, the city experienced one full week of downtime.
Shortly after the ransomware attack, the city’s budget was approved. During the onboarding stage for managed IT services, Diamond IT and California City worked together to create an incident response plan. The plan covers all possible problems – from wildfires and power outages to ransomware attacks. It improves California City’s security posture and decreases the likelihood they’ll experience a detrimental outage again. Diamond IT’s cybersecurity experts also provided California City guidance on how to establish robust password policies and set up data access control measures.
Before California City had an outdated system that lacked the security features that keep organizations safe. Now, the city has paired the right measures with strong and responsive IT support from the team at Diamond IT. Network security is stronger, and employees have tools to efficiently serve constituents.
Choose a Better Cybersecurity Partner Today
All cities should be able to serve their constituents without having to worry about network vulnerabilities that put privacy and security at risk. The right IT provider makes this possible. Your partner will work with you to find solutions that fit your budget. For California City, this meant leveraging their American Rescue Plan funds to invest in much needed IT infrastructure and cybersecurity upgrades.
Quotes From Client
Diamond IT really saved us. We would still be down if they hadn’t come to help. They went the extra mile to help us recover. They even recovered our backups without having the passwords.
We knew we had problems with our IT. It’s why we were in talks to start working together. We were just waiting for the budget to pass with city council – and I thought we’d be okay until then. Then we got hit with ransomware. Even though we weren’t working together yet, they were here in under 2 hours.