The Pekin City Council at Monday’s meeting will consider the purchase of new network security software in an amount not to exceed $115,000.

Network Administrator Robert Schaich in a report to the Council said ransomware and phishing attacks are becoming more complex. The city is expanding its use of internal programs to run day-to-day operations, which increases the crippling impact of an attack.

“There are only two choices when struck by a ransomware virus: pay and hope it gets undone, or scrap everything and start over from the last known good backup, whenever that is,” said Schaich in his report to Council. “Even with a strong backup solution, undoing the damage of an attack can cost days of productivity.

“The city of Pekin receives almost 100 attacks against its firewall per week, over 10,000 spam emails per week and block close to 200 virus and malware infections per week. The city has assets worth targeting, and it may only be a matter of time before more advanced attacks start migrating from larger communities and organizations to cities like Pekin.”

Pekin Community High School experienced a ransomware attack in April. The attackers demanded more than $30,000 to restore the system. The district did not pay the ransom. It took approximately a month to correct all of the issues the ransomware caused. Fortunately, the district had back up servers off campus with the information needed to restore the system.

The initial project cost for the software is $104,350.26 which includes the following:

• Purchase price, $73,306.26

• Installation services, $22,208

• City staff training, $4,900

• Upgrades to existing servers to support new software, $ 4,179

There is also a recurring annual fee of $4,311 and a fee of $14,371.69 every three years to cover updates, upgrades and technical support. The extra $10,000 in project costs is for contingency purposes.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin