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The City of Johnson City’s Information Technology Department is currently replacing or reimaging all of the organization’s desktop computers following a ransomware attack in the early hours of Monday, Oct. 21.

 IT staff spent last week methodically bringing operations back online to ensure there would be no lingering effects. After careful assessment, it was determined that while 170 computers could be reimaged about 300 desktop computers need to be replaced. The new computers are scheduled to arrive in multiple shipments with all new computers distributed to staff within the next several weeks. The total cost for desktop replacements is $215,100.

 “The City budgets approximately $165,000 each year for the purchase of new computers,” said Lisa Sagona, Information Technology director. “This purchase simply expedites the existing process for computer replacement.”

 Employees charged with mission-critical operations were provided reimaged computers last week, while others have been using the 118 unaffected laptops or sharing computers to ensure business continuity and mitigate the impact on City operations.

 “The hyperconverged Storage Area Network (SAN) that became operational three weeks before the attack enabled us to restore our files in a half a day as opposed to several days,” Sagona said. “We were able to fully restore as opposed to losing more than a week’s worth of information fr0m a less sophisticated type of backup. The only information lost were files saved to individual desktops and some files on hard drives.”

 The City of Johnson City has placed a priority on additional technology security. Implementation of the SAN is one of the many security enhancements completed in recent months. In addition to moving forward with the scheduled improvements currently in progress, the IT Department will work with a partner agency to determine if other security measures should be added and provide additional training to City employees.