EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County officials approved agreements on Wednesday for more than $360,000 in anti-virus software and security services.

“Cyber criminals are out there and we need to do what we can to protect the county’s IT systems,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “Last year we saw ransomware attacks on the City of Alton, St. Clair County and Lewis and Clark Community College. Cybersecurity is important.”

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The County Board approved two resolutions for the IT Department. One allows the county to purchase a 3-year next-generation anti-virus agreement for $314,840 and the second, a 3-year agreement for security awareness training and anti-phishing software subscription services for $46,005.

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IT Director Chris Bethel said the purchases are being made available under the Omnia Partners IT Products and Services. He said the county is using American Rescue Plan Act funding to purchase the anti-virus agreement and IT funds will pay for the security awareness training and phishing subscription services

“The anti-virus agreement is for advanced software and monitoring services,” Bethel said.

He said antivirus software is necessary to protect systems against the most common threat vector malicious actors are using — malware intrusion via phishing. The anti-virus software will protect computers from viruses and spyware, proactive threats and network threats, Bethel said.

“I am thankful the IT Committee and the county board continue to take a serious approach to cybersecurity,” County Board member and chair of the IT Committee Jamie Goggin said.

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