First Dallas County Cybersecurity Drill Held

Preparation to detect weakness

Dallas County's first cybersecurity drill was held Thursday to help guard against a breach and prepare in the event one occurs.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said extensive security is in place to block hackers but other government entities and private businesses that thought they were prepared have still found themselves victims so a drill helps detect weakness.

"And what we try to do is stretch it out and make it the worst case scenario so that we get that much better for the real thing," Jenkins said.

In Thursday's scenario, the intrusion began with jail computers and expanded from there.

"Our department heads did not know this was going to happen and they were contacted as they got out of the shower this morning."

Past emergency drills have been for natural disasters like a tornado where the bad event occurs and then recovery procedures are tested.

"With this, it's an ongoing bad actor," Jenkins said. "We may take steps to keep the county safe. They're taking countermeasures to put us more at risk. So, it's a stressful exercise. But it's an important exercise."

Some people involved only met for the first time Thursday.

"We'll have played together in the preseason, so to speak, before we have to do this for real," Jenkins said.

Specific details of Thursday's failures and successes were kept confidential to not reveal tips.

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