This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is bullish on cybersecurity in wake of a massive malware attack affected the Matanuska-Susitna Borough this summer.

During Tuesday’s assembly meeting, Assembly President Wayne Ogle asked the Chief of Staff John Quick about the status of borough cybersecurity, after hearing presentations at the Alaska Municipal League on the effects Mat-Su Borough and the city of Valdez faced after cyber attacks this year.

Ogle said the Mat-Su Borough suffered around $400,000 in ransom for their data, and the city of Valdez had about $26,000 in damages from the cyber attack.

Ogle said the two governments are taking out cyber insurance.

“They seemed to think it was a pretty good idea,” Ogle said.

Quick told the assembly they had nothing to worry about when it came to borough network protection.

“You don’t want to give the folks too much insider information,” Quick said. “A lot of this data breach stuff is folks coming in and stealing data you don’t have backed up somewhere. The ransom is ‘give me money or I’m not going to give you data that you otherwise don’t have backed up.’ That’s what happened in Valdez and Mat-Su. They didn’t have data backed up properly. We don’t have to worry about that here. In my opinion, we have one of the highest-tech setups of probably any borough in the state.”

Quick did not know if the borough was considering cyber insurance.

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