Archive for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Council ends call for tech audit

March 2, 2011

At the advice of its technology consultant, the Tonganoxie City Council has dropped its demand for an audit of city computer use.

Consultant Jeff Bunnell provided the council with an update of his evaluation of the security of the city’s information technology system. While doing so, he told the council an audit of computers would be costly and of little value.

Last month, the council restated its desire to City Administrator Mike Yanez for an audit. The issue was first raised in the wake of former Mayor Mike Vestal’s resignation in July after it was learned he used a city-owned computer to send an obscene email.

Such an audit would cost $4,500 and take a consultant four to six hours at $100 an hour per computer while requiring $10,000 in software, Bunnell said. And any information would be of little value.

“There’s no security whatsoever,” he said. “You might find something, but there would be no way of knowing who did it and when.”

Rather than spend that amount of money on an audit, the city would be better served investing in upgrading and safeguarding its computer and phone systems, Bunnell said.

He noted the city had phones in outlying departments billed separately. He proposed a shared system with voice mail and transfers capabilities.

But the consultant focused more on the city’s computer system, advocating a system requiring all to log in with passwords to use computers. Outlying systems would be linked to central servers through the Internet but with access limited to the city, Bunnell said.

The system would have Internet filters to block usage of inappropriate sites and allow for the monitoring of computer, Internet and email activity, Bunnell said. Software could be installed on the system that could run reports on computer and Internet usage.

The city could put the system together in pieces, but the consultant said he wouldn’t hazard a guess at the cost, saying the city would probably seek requests for proposals for the work.

Although there was consensus on the council to heed Bunnell’s advice, council members also agreed with Mayor Jason Ward that the proposed computer upgrade should be delayed until a decision was made on the possible relocation of the city police station — a likely home of the city’s servers.

At a special meeting last month, Police Chief Jeff Brandau presented the council with three existing buildings that could be renovated for his department’s home.

City Administrator Mike Yanez said the city would have to budget for any police station relocation in the 2012 budget. Computer system security upgrades could also be addressed at that time, he said.

Comments

Jason Bailey 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow...the city doesn't even have web filters installed? Someone should be fired. In today's litigious environment, if a city worker walks by a co-worker's PC and see's obscene material up on the screen, they can sue for sexual harassment. If the city has not made a "good faith" effort to be diligent in protecting its employees and monitor activity, the court is going to nail them to the wall.

This is common sense stuff but another typical government failure.

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only1 3 years, 9 months ago

Not everybody's as smart as you. I suggest you run for mayor, or maybe even governor.

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Sissy 3 years, 9 months ago

Only1.... You do not have to be smart to know this!!!!!!

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only1 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I know. It was sarcasm towards Jason's history as a poster. Always very critical of everybody and always has the ANSWER to everything which is why I suggested he do something with all of that knowledge.

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mymonkey 3 years, 9 months ago

I guess this has gone on for years with leadership failing to address it. It appears this group is trying to correct. Who oversees this? Admin, etc? Out of touch with tech. Kudos to council for exploring issue.

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Jason Bailey 3 years, 9 months ago

Only1: Sarcasm is the recourse of the weak-minded. Instead of responding with verbal barbs, please join me in an debate on why we, the citizens of this city, should NOT be outraged that basic fundamentals by professionals, whose responsibility it is to oversee these things (technology), are completely ignored. A Web Filter costs less than $1000 but one lawsuit will cost the city millions just to DEFEND, let alone any payouts deemed by a court.

C'mon...get with it. If you had a clue as to what I'm talking about, you'd see that $1,000 of prevention makes perfect sense in comparison to the society in which we live. All it will take is one person who is looking to cash in and retire to call a money-hungry lawyer....our budget is then hosed for years just in attorney fees.

None of this is about me (although you try to make it out as such), this is about government waste, irresponsibility, lack of oversight, and failure.

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