San Marcos, CA City Hack Takes Down Email & Other Systems

Despite no data being breached, a hack targeting the city of San Marcos, CA has taken their email and other functions offline for more than a week.

In October, San Marcos’ computer systems were affected by a hack of an undisclosed nature. Both the city and the FBI chose not to provide details of the nature of the cyberattack on Oct. 24, 2019, but the effects are clear.

A majority of the city’s internal IT systems were affected, with city email addresses disabled and returning the following message to those who attempted to send emails to them:

“Delivery Delayed: report of hack on San Marcos city systems.”

A city spokesperson addressed the event soon after, being careful to emphasize that no data was affected. Despite the fact that the attack took down their email for a week, they maintain that no data was breached.

“There was no data breach or extraction,” said Robin Rockey, “Our data is secure and uncompromised.”

Is Data Integrity The Point Of Cybersecurity

This example begs the question – if none of their data was breached, does that mean everything’s OK?

Not necessarily – data integrity is certainly a key priority for anyone that’s responsible for cybersecurity. It would have been much worse if the hackers had gained access to employee and citizen data. But there’s more to it than that.

While San Marcos did not incur any expenses or damages associated with a data breach, they still suffered other consequences:

  • Downtime: Losing access to your personal email for a week would be bad enough – how bad do you think it is when an entire city government can’t access their email? So much work gets put on hold, productivity plummets, and communication breaks down.
  • Reputational damage: San Marcos is now yet another organization to have been made a victim. Regardless of whether their data was breached, they’ve still gained the reputation of being unable to protect themselves. Do you think the local taxpayers will let them forget that any time soon?

The Intersection Of Business Continuity And Cybersecurity

Preparing for business interruptions – both natural and human-based – is a critical part of both cybersecurity and business continuity. You have to make sure you can stay up and running, regardless of whether the outage is at the office, in your town or around the world. Business continuity planning is one of the most important requirements of management at a business.

When cybersecurity and business continuity are aligned, you gain a number of advantages:

  • Protecting Your Business Assets, Intellectual Property, and Goodwill within the Community at Large Your information technology will be protected, and your staff will be ready and productive in the event of a disaster. Employees will be informed and rehearsed, and they’ll know what actions to take. This could save your business a lot of downtime and money.  Furthermore, in keeping you running, this plan will protect the image, brand, and reputation of your company. If you’re able to continue functioning despite a disaster, your customers will see you as dependable, and your reputation will be enhanced as a result.
  • Improve Your Business Culture Your customers will feel confident doing business with you; you’ll be able to keep your commitments and ensure the continuing quality of the services and/or products you deliver. Furthermore, it shows your backers that you take your business seriously, that you’re prepared and ready to maintain productivity.  Your staff will gain an awareness of business operations that they didn’t have before. Business continuity planning can often provide staff with useful insights into improving the way they handle tasks, even in areas that hadn’t been previously considered.
  • Prevention Of Downtime & Other Consequences If a disaster does occur, the cost of disruptions will be significantly reduced with a business continuity solution in place. There will be no disruptions to your supply chain. Your competitive position will be maintained or even improved because you’ll be able to meet your contractual requirements, where others who aren’t protected won’t.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

11 Ways You Can Benefit From Assisted IT Services

Managed IT Helps Your Bottom Line: 6 Ways How

5 Ways Managed IT Services Is the Right Choice for Your Business

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