City considers purchase of cyber crime insurance
EAST LIVERPOOL — Council’s Finance Committee agreed with Mayor Greg Bricker and Safety-Service Director David Dawson that it was better to be safe than sorry.
During their meeting Tuesday afternoon, members agreed to recommend that the city purchase cyber crime insurance from Worldwide Facilities LLC of West Hartford, Ct. at a cost of $3,762.65 per year.
Council will make the final decision.
The move comes after some Ohio counties, including Columbiana, fell victim to cybercrime attacks over the past several years.
Ransomware is often launched from outside the country in a computer virus that freezes the computer system until a ransom is paid. Computer security firm Symantec reported three years ago that the average ransom demand is $679.
In May 2016, a virus encrypted Columbiana County’s court data, crippling the court for a short time. Because the county did not have a recent copy of data available,” the Auditor’s press release explains, “it eventually agreed to pay the $2,500 demand and had its data returned.”
The committee, which is chaired by Fred Rayl and includes Jeff Kreefer and Ray Perorazio, also agreed to recommend payment of certain vendors without purchase orders.
Mike Pusateri Excavation will see the bulk of its $118,000+ bill paid for the work they did on Dresden Avenue last year. That project was completely underwritten by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has only provided $92,535 so far. They are still owed another $26,000, which will be paid upon receipt of the check, according to city Auditor Marilyn Bosco.
The other invoices tend to be a continuation of a chronic problem.
The committee agreed to pay the vendors, which include the Ohio State treasurer, Utility Services, Ream and Heager and Alloway, after they did the work and invoiced the city on dates as far back as October. However, city department heads never failed to forward the purchase orders to Bosco until this month.
“This is an ongoing problem,” Kreefer, who is the third ward councilman, acknowledged during the brief meeting.
The Ohio state treasurer had billed $3566.25 for work done on state Route 11 and another $7,200 for the LEADS system’s annual fee, while the bulk of the other bills related to utility work and water testing.
According to city ordinance, Bosco cannot draft checks to pay said vendors without a properly authorized purchase order or legislative action from council.
Safety-Service Director Dawson said that he will address the situation, instead of Rayl.