NDIT to provide free anti-malware to counties ahead of elections

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Categories: Coronavirus

North Dakota Chief Information Security Officer Kevin Ford announced today that anti-malware software is available to all counties in North Dakota at no cost to their agencies. 

“This is one piece of our larger initiative to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of all state and local government entities,” Ford said, “It is a timely opportunity to offer our counties and election officials next-generation cybersecurity capabilities.” 

County Information Systems Security Officer Jessica Newby from the Governance, Risk and Compliance Office (GRC) with NDIT said, “By providing access to advanced anti-malware, we are helping our counties add layer of security.”  

NDIT can provide installation, licenses and self-service access for counties and cities due to enhanced capabilities and a unified, statewide approach to cybersecurity strategy. Previously a small fee was required per device; however, that cost will be absorbed by NDIT due to increased threats tied to the pandemic. 

Just as free anti-malware was available to schools in anticipation of virtual environments, NDIT is maturing their support for counties ahead of elections. 

Key features of the software include: 

  • Proactive anti-malware that prevents unknown software from running until verified as “good,” a huge upgrade from the traditional signature-based anti-virus software which allowed malicious or infected software to run, compromising and destroying data, until eventually detected. 
  • Cutting-edge technology that delivers a unified experience for prevention, detection, investigation and response. 
  • Capable of operating on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chromebook devices and easy to install. 
  • The software provides continuous protection regardless of whether devices home or on their network. 

 Counties and cities interested in obtaining the free software can make requests through their IT Coordinators or by contacting the NDIT Service Desk at 701-328-4470, toll free at 877-328-4470 or through the ServiceNow portal. 

The software is also available to K-12 schools due to schools due to classes being held virtually or in a hybrid model this school year. 

To date, anti-malware software has been activated on over 9,800 K-12 devices in nearly 100 school districts as part of NDIT’s unified cybersecurity approach. 

This initiative also builds on an ongoing, statewide cybersecurity awareness campaign. NDIT has published numerous tips and timely alerts on the Cybersecurity and Fraud Resources page at NDResponse.gov. Additionally, four PSAs have been published on NDIT’s Facebook page to provide practical tips for all North Dakotans to be #NDSmart and #CyberSmart. 

About GRC: 

The GRC Office is responsible for managing cyber risk on the state-wide STAGEnet network, and helps organizations align their business needs with their cybersecurity and IT compliance requirements. 

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