Guilford County may have dodged a cyber-bullet this week.
For months and months – years really – Guilford County has been planning to switch its financial reporting system over to a new system called “Munis” provided by Tyler Technologies.
The county was geared up to flip the switch and make the change over. However, right before it did, Tyler Technologies – a Texas based software system provider that provides its services to many cities, towns and states, was hit by a major ransomware attack.
Typically, in that type of attack, hackers make important data inaccessible to users until money – a ransom – is paid and the information is freed up
The Tyler Technologies story was big news nationally because the company also provides software that serves the private sector and software that is used to post election results in some areas of the country.
Guilford County Information Technology Director Hemant Desai said that the department is closely monitoring the situation. He said that the county’s phased-in go-live changeover had been planned for the week starting on Monday, Oct. 5.
Tyler Technologies has not released a lot of specific information related to the ransomware attack.
Desai also said the situation right now is fluid.
“We are working closely with Tyler and our Internal team to assess several options based on information as it becomes available,” he said.
Earlier this year at the annual retreat of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, County Manager Marty Lawing told the Board that Guilford County constantly comes under attack from hackers and cyber thieves.
“You probably wouldn’t believe some of the things we would show you as far as people trying to get into our system,” Lawing said at that time, not indicating if the hacks were coming from foreign governments, individuals in the US or others.
“We can tell who is trying to get into and it’s a constant 24/7 situation,” Lawing added. “We are under attack constantly.”
It looks like a little bit of luck with the timing may have helped the county out this time.