In June 2016, Auditor Yost urged fiscal personnel at local governments across Ohio to be on high alert for cybercrimes targeting tax dollars. The warning was prompted by an increase in reported attacks at several governments, including school districts, counties and townships.
Many of the attacks were carried out using a practice known as 'phishing’ – sending email containing either a link or an attachment that, when opened, infects computers or entices the recipient to share account information and passwords. Some of the attachments launch viruses that essentially take data hostage until a ransom is paid.
“These hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated and are looking for data-rich targets,” Auditor Yost said. “Governments by the very nature of what they do have a great deal of information that these cybercriminals are after. We need to do all we can to help local leaders fortify their governments to protect data and the interests of the citizens they serve.”
With that in mind, in early 2017 the Auditor's office launched training sessions in eight communities throughout Ohio, geared toward helping government officials prevent and deal with cyber attacks.
"We in the Auditor’s office have the ability to help local leaders prevent personal information from getting into the hands of evildoers, and that’s why we’re doing this training.”
The Auditor's office will continue to offer tips and resources regarding cybersecurity on this page.