North Dakota ITD reports 15 million cyber attacks every month

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 5:36 PM CST
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In 2018, North Dakota Information Technology estimated 5 million cyber attacks in the state every month.

Last year, numbers increased nearly 200%.

Now, ITD is discovering more than 15 million attacks every month.

A small attack, with a large price tag.

"A single incident can easily cost $35,000," said Shawn Riley, CIO for ITD.

North Dakota's agriculture, energy and innovative research centers are the target for many hackers.

"We have a lot of things going on within the state that are very high interest to other people. So if they can steal it they don't have to build it themselves, or if they can get on to those systems they will steal it and sell it or may just be able to cause disruption and give them a leg up," said Riley.

IT officers say hackers are also targeting the state for its military bases.

"They're looking for military secrets, and North Dakota having two out of the three strategic legs here in the state makes us a huge attack vector," said Riley.

Often times hackers are looking for personal data, a payment, or intellectual property.

"They're looking for information they can use to be able to sell. So that can be research information, that can be information about your property, it could be information about your bank account," said Riley.

But the state is working to combat the online attackers.

"We've been deploying significant new technology that will allow us to use artificial intelligence to our advantage so we can see when our attackers are coming at us every day," said Riley.

Making sure they're one step ahead of their attacker.

"North Dakota is hands down the most forward looking cyber defense state in the country right now. With the laws that have been accelerated here in the last year and a half we are well ahead of our partner states," said Riley.

Keeping North Dakotans information online, while staying alert for cyber attacks.