Sheriff’s office to get cyber security upgrade

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Madison County recently hired an information technology director to evaluate tech set ups for county agencies.

Now the Madison County Sheriff's Office is getting some of that help.

Wednesday, the Madison County Commission executed several technology agreements which includes a change in internet providers.

"We previously were with AT&T and now WOW! has offered a great package for us. It'll be faster," said Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

One change, the 911 center will connect to fiber-optic high-speed cable service.

But most importantly, there will be new upgrades made to cybersecurity for the sheriff's office.

And while they are pretty pricey, the commission said peace of mind is worth it.

"Our jail, at one time, was hacked into and put us out of business or hurt us very hard for about 10 days," Strong added. "So we're doing some cleanup measures to make sure we do everything within our power so it doesn't happen again."

All of the new improvements will cost the county around $100,000.

Strong said the sheriff's office data and security work hand in hand with jail bookings and releases.

"Right at 1000 people in the Madison County Metro Jail today," Strong explained. "Any time that one of those is released there is a lot of verification to be sure that there aren't warrants from other counties or other states, so what we do is we work to have the best it that we can have."

The technology upgrades were included in the fiscal budget for 2020.

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