The City of Hawesville has received a grant of $5,000 from the Kentucky League of Cities to aid in protecting city computer information technology systems from malicious cyber attacks.
The funds were presented to Mayor Charles M. King Jan. 12 at City Hall. Howard L. Roswell, Jr., represented KLC Insurance Services, with Brandon House from House Insurance Services serving as the local agent for the city.
“The threat to infrastructure is real across the country,” King said. “We want to protect Hawesville, our citizens and our systems.”
Rosewell said vital systems such as water and wastewater treatment can be vulnerable to malicious attacks. There have been several cases around the nation – and world – where attackers have damaged control systems and even held municipal information in ransomware attacks.
In 2020, 44 percent of global ransomware attacks involved municipalities, KLC said in a statement. Harvard Business Review reported ransomware attacks in general increased 150 percent in 2021. City governments are advised to anticipate becoming a victim, and should take steps to ensure basic protections are in place.
The total grant program through KLCIS is worth $1 million, with awards up to $15,000.
“The unique circumstances surrounding cities and the data they collect make them very susceptible to attackers,” said KLC president and Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott. “KLC wants to ensure every city has basic protections, and we hope the new Cybersecurity Preparedness Grant will help our insurance members institute systems and processes to safeguard data.”
By C. Josh Givens