Due to “human error,” up to six months of data for a few county offices was lost or had to be re-uploaded to a computer system in December, according to the Fayette County Commissioners.
Essentially, the data was being transferred by an employee of “YourColo” from one system into a more secure system. Against the company policy however, a back-up of the data was not made prior to the transfer. During the transfer, the data was lost and there was no back-up to restore it.
“YourColo,” according to commissioner Dan Dean, has been a long-time provider for county computer services.
The commissioners explained that data with hard copies was able to be re-entered into the computer system however, data without hard copies was permanently lost.
The commissioners met Monday with the employee from YourColo to discuss the situation.
The employee said that he “takes full responsibility” and would make sure the county is reimbursed for costs following the incident. The amount of the reimbursement is currently unknown.
“We always pay for our mistakes,” explained the representative. “We’re not asking you to pay for my mistake.”
“We lost data that was in our system before the last data breach that had not been updated yet,” said Dean. “It was very disappointing. It has cost us a lot of extra work, extra stress. That’s why we asked for some reimbursement on that because there will be overtime involved.”
The “last data breach” Dean referred to was a Malware attack on the county computer system in June of last year.
That attack involved a new form of Ransonware. It caused several county employees to be locked out of the system and their emails for weeks.
Ransomware is essentially a malicious software designed to keep users from accessing electronic data unless a “ransom” is paid. No ransom was paid by the county.
“The first event—the Malware event that happened in June, (YourColo) did as best they could to bring us back,” said Dean. “We were very appreciative of the effort and the amount they did to help us. We called them on a Sunday afternoon and they started working on that Sunday afternoon to help us.”
The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located in the County Administration Building, 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House and their office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.