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City News

Email Security

We are all responsible for Technology Security in one way or another, but the most effective attacks come through email and trick users into clicking a link, providing their User Name and Password or opening an infected attachment.

This is generally called Phishing, and is a serious threat to our internal security.

You can learn how to spot these malicious emails by becoming aware of the tactics that hackers use to trick users.

The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent article on this topic, which you can read here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams#recognize

The best defense is an educated user, because security always comes down to people.

Ransomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America

From The New York Times: 

HOUSTON — At the public library in Wilmer, Tex., books were checked out not with the beeps of bar code readers but with the scratches of pen on notebook paper. Out on the street, police officers were literally writing tickets — by hand. When the entire computer network that keeps the small town’s bureaucracy afloat was recently hacked, Wilmer was thrown into the digital Dark Ages.

“It’s weird,” said Jennifer Dominguez, a library assistant. “We’ve gone old school.”

This has been the summer of crippling ransomware attacks. Wilmer — a town of almost 5,000 people just south of Dallas — is one of 22 cities across Texas that are simultaneously being held hostage for millions of dollars after a sophisticated hacker, perhaps a group of them, infiltrated their computer systems and encrypted their data. The attack instigated a statewide disaster-style response that includes the National Guard and a widening F.B.I. inquiry.

More than 40 municipalities have been the victims of cyberattacks this year, from major cities such as Baltimore, Albany and Laredo, Tex., to smaller towns including Lake City, Fla. Lake City is one of the few cities to have paid a ransom demand — about $460,000 in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency — because it thought reconstructing its systems would be even more costly.

In most ransomware cases, the identities and whereabouts of culprits are cloaked by clever digital diversions. Intelligence officials, using data collected by the National Security Agency and others in an effort to identify the sources of the hacking, say many have come from Eastern Europe, Iran and, in some cases, the United States. The majority have targeted small-town America, figuring that sleepy, cash-strapped local governments are the least likely to have updated their cyberdefenses or backed up their data

New Director of Human Resources

The City of Stamford is pleased to announce Alfred Cava, a 40-year veteran in labor relations, collective bargaining and personnel management, as the new Director of Human Resources. As Director, Cava will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City’s Human Resource Department, which oversees benefits and labor relations for over 1,700 City employees in Stamford. The Director of Human Resources reports to Corporation Counsel Kathryn Emmett.

Cava comes to Stamford from Greenwich — where he served for over 20 years — first as Director of Human Resources and later as Director of Labor Relations. Prior to his position in Greenwich, he worked for over 18 years in various Human Resources management positions in Yonkers, New York.

Alfred Cava
Alfred Cava, Director of Human Resources

Across his lengthy career Cava has managed and implemented on-boarding processes, compliance training and enforcement, and performance reviews. He has been directly involved in union negotiations, grievance complaints and standardizing procedures. Cava has also maintained a teaching position at Pace University since 1987 and at Excelsior College since 2017. His position as an educator has required him to become familiar with the latest standards in Human Resources. Cava’s background proves he is a highly-qualified professional in his field, joining Stamford’s team of veteran managers and administrators.

Cava has acted as a change agent in his previous positions and joins Stamford with plans to streamline department operations, automate routine procedures, and use technology solutions to modernize the department. Stamford’s Director of Human Resources has been filled as an interim position since 2018. The position was previously held by Clemon Williams.