New system helps track cyber attacks in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New system helps track cyber attacks in Iowa

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DES MOINES (WHO) --  A new state of the art program is designed to protect Iowa from cyber attacks.

The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) recently launched a program to track what is happening in Iowa and around the world.

"For us, we have to know what is going on," said Ric Lumbard, Executive Director of the Iowa Communications Network. "We have to be able to see what's going on. We call it being cyber-situationally aware."

Real-time monitors show a real problem facing the ICN.

"There is a constant pressure of cyber attack going on," said Lumbard.

It shows who's attacking who down to the city, state, and name. The ICN is a network that provides Internet service to schools, public safety, health departments, and state government. This makes the Iowa State Capitol a target for attackers worldwide.

"In a one-day chart we did over 280,000 attacks on the Capitol complex in a single day," Lumbard said. "That is significant."

The majority of those attacks never breeched any of the government data. That's a sign the new monitoring system is working.

"One we know what's going on we can take action and once you know what that fabric is you can mitigate it," he said. "You can stop it, you can clean it, scrub it, or shut it down."

Lumbard doesn't anticipate the attacks to slow down anytime soon, instead he calls it an epidemic. Something he says not only the ICN needs to take seriously, but also consumers.

"I think if we really realize how many other people hold our information, then we could go 'oh, I get it,'" said Lumbard. "This is why we need to do this."

The ICN says its next goal is to improve the response time with users and other agencies once a cyber threat is made.

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