ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Council approves spending millions of dollars to help improve the county’s cybersecurity systems. This comes after hackers breached an important law enforcement system last month.
This was a big financial move by county council members Tuesday night. The council voted to spend $5 million to help beef up cybersecurity.
Council member Ernie Trakas was a main sponsor of the measure. Described as an “emergency appropriation,” Trakas said that the funds will be used for improvements including figuring out and fixing weaknesses in the county’s systems, buying new technology, and hiring consultants to transfer information technology capabilities from servers to the cloud.
Trakas concedes that the $5 million will basically drain the county’s emergency savings, but he made the case that the major expense is worth it to shore up the county’s cybersecurity systems against future attacks. The council members at the meeting approved the measure unanimously, Chairwoman Shalonda Webb and council member Rita Heard Days weren’t at the meeting.
This all came to the forefront after a cyberattack last month targeted the Regional Justice Information System commonly known as ‘REJIS.’ That computer system is used to look up court cases, issue charges, and process people in custody at jails. The cyberattack caused the REJIS system to temporarily shut down for a time last month.
Multiple challenges arose during the attack, including the fact that county workers were booking and releasing people from jail on paper instead of doing it electronically. Doug Moore, the chief spokesperson for County Executive Sam Page, says no sensitive information was taken or released.
We’re told it out 10 months to make the upgrades.