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home : news : local   May 3, 2016

1/15/2014 2:26:00 PM
County buys cyber-security insurance for residents, county offices

Billing, computer worries, residents' information security concerns Wenona
WENONA — The implementation of the new computer system for reading water meters and the billing of customers were primary talking points for Wenona City Council this week.

Over the holidays, “it was a big mess,” according to Sheila Healy, administrative assistant at the municipal office. She added, now “everything is going well with the system.”
Billing had been delayed and covered a cycle of 36 days instead of the usual 30 days. This resulted in bills that were about 25 percent higher than usual.

Alderman Gary Sunken called attention to complaints of the bills for exceeding the minimum usage. The problem occurred because of problems with the handheld meter readers and the need to read the meters a second time.

“I haven’t had a lot of people coming in (to complain),” Healy said in response to Sunken’s comment.

There were no complaints with regard to higher bills for going over the minimum usage, according to Healy.   

Mike Gray from Maxcom in Toluca also commented on the problems with the office computer used for billing.

“We ended up with a new computer,” Gray said. “It might have been a virus, but it was probably the operating system.”

Gray said they had to wait to download the important information to the new computer. The hard drive on the old computer was then wiped clean, and the operating system was restored. It will be used only for work on the Internet.

The new computer will only be used for water bills.

Sunken brought up the hacking attack on Target card accounts and the possibility that it could happen to Wenona customers if the city computer was hacked.
Mitch McCaw, superintendent of water and sewers, assured the aldermen that only names and addresses were kept on file.

Katlyn Rumbold
Princeton Bureau Chief

PRINCETON — Almost 50 percent of Americans find themselves in the middle of cyber-attacks, and after the breach at Target, many people are paying close attention to cyber-security. So are local governments.

At Tuesday evening’s Bureau County Board meeting, insurance committee chairman Mike Kohr made a motion to accept a line of coverage for cyber insurance from CIRMA for $2,900 per year.

“Cyber-security is a big issue,” said Kohr. “We have had one county in the state of Illinois that has had their security compromised.”

The board approved the motion.

In other Bureau County Board news: 
* Fees and salaries committee chairman Marrshann Entwhistle reported that as of Jan. 1, the IRS mileage rate will go up to 56 cents per mile.
* Transportation committee chairman Steve Sondergroth reported a new funding agreement for the county engineer salary, which is is a six-year commitment between Illinois Department of Transportation and the county.
Half of the funds will come from federal funds while the remaining half will come from local funds.

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