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Madison County spending federal money to improve cybersecurity

Officials this week approved more than $163,000 in contracts to improve Madison County government’s cybersecurity.

“The county is improving its cybersecurity, which will include multi-factor authentication and security monitoring services,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said.

The County Board approved two resolutions Wednesday night — the first, a one-year contract for a cloud service subscription and the second, a contract for security monitoring services.

Security monitoring service is available from Carahsoft Technology Corp. under the National Association of State Procurement Officials Contract. Carahsoft is based in Reston, Va. The contract is for $112,689.60.

The cloud services subscription is available from Insight Public Sector under the Omnia Partners IT Products & Services Contract. Insight Public Sector is based in Herndon, Va. The contract is for $50,747.90.

Prenzler said the county is spending its first American Recovery Act (ARPA) monies to pay for the projects. He said the county was working toward improving its cybersecurity plan when the federal funding became available.

“By using the ARPA funds the county won’t be spending its general fund monies to protect its infrastructure in Special Services Area No. 1,” he said.

Prenzler (shown) said the county is able to improve its cybersecurity because it provides the technology and support for SSA, which is a sewer system operated by the county, and tied into the county’s network.

He said the county is concerned about cybersecurity, especially after recent ransomware attacks in nearby communities. Hackers breached both St. Clair County and City of Alton.

“We want to do what we can to prevent it and protect information,” he said.

IT Director Chris Bethel said the approval of the contracts puts the county in a better position to defend itself and fortify its cybersecurity systems.

“We are very pleased the ARPA funds are allowing us to accelerate our plans to improve our security posture,” Bethel said.

Prenzler said this spending is just one example of how of the county will best use the ARPA funding.

“We are very pleased the ARPA funds are allowing us to accelerate our plans to improve our security posture,” Bethel said.

Prenzler said this spending is just one example of how of the county will best use the ARPA funding.

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