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Local governments ask Oregon lawmakers for aid to combat cybersecurity attacks

Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County
Local governments are wary of cyber-criminals

Local governments in Oregon say they need more help to protect themselves against cybersecurity attacks. Some cities around the country, including in Oregon, have been victims of sophisticated ransomware attacks that can be costly and time-consuming to recover from.

Brenda Wilson, the executive director of the Lane Council of Governments, told the Oregon legislature's Joint Committee on Information Management and Technology on Tuesday that many local governments don’t even know where to begin when it comes to protecting themselves.

“For most small cities, small public agencies, even big ones, they just don’t know where to start," she said. "They don’t know what questions to ask.”

In addition to training opportunities, local governments say more funding is needed to fend off cyber-criminals. The city of Eugene earlier this year said it needs $3.4 million dollars for security software and system upgrades.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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