City ‘prioritizes cybersecurity’ in wake of cyber attacks – Sudbury.com

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In the wake of recent cyber attacks, the City of Greater Sudbury clarified they undergo regular reviews of cybersecurity strategies.

Sudbury.com’s request for a phone interview with a city staff member regarding city cybersecurity measures was denied, with the city issuing a written statement instead.

“To limit risk, any explanation of our cyber security plans are kept confidential,” city spokesperson Kelli Sheppard said. 

The city’s cybersecurity strategy was last updated with city council on Sept. 26, 2023, during a session closed to the public.

“The increasing threat of cyberattacks reinforces the importance of both the city and individuals, remaining vigilant in understanding and mitigating the risks,” according to the City of Greater Sudbury’s written statement.

Last month, Laurentian University suffered a “limited data breach” as part of a cyber attack which affected services.

Around this same time, the Town of Huntsville was hit by a ransomware attack in which vital digital information was held hostage for payment. Their town hall temporarily closed to the public, and council meetings were postponed.

In December 2023, the City of Greater Sudbury fell victim to a $1.5-million email fraud in which a fraudster gained access to a contractor’s email address and convinced a city staff member to change the bank account they transferred payments to.

The city has recuperated more than $1 million of this money through the courts so far.

Last year, various Gateway Casinos locations, including their Chelmsford casino, temporarily closed as the result of a cyber attack.

The City of Greater Sudbury uses resources such as those offered by the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity to help address cyber security concerns.

“The City of Greater Sudbury prioritizes cybersecurity by implementing recognized best practices, specifically the Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls,” according to their written statement. “These practices are dynamic, evolving to counter emerging threats and ensuring our plans remain current.”

The city’s cybersecurity strategies are reviewed by the city’s auditor general and evaluated by council to maintain their effectiveness, according to the city’s statement.

“These plans encompass measures to identify, protect, detect, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks, including the maintenance of an up-to-date Disaster Recovery Plan,” they said.

“We follow local and national coverage of cyberattack instances and whenever possible engage with the affected parties afterward to gain insight and lessons for our own preparedness. Collaboration is key to understanding current trends and planning effectively.”

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.

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