Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Significant improvements and upgrades have been made to Town of Peace River’s Information Technology (IT) system to help improve efficiency and decrease risk.

At its regular meeting June 10, council members were informed of various changes made to make information on the Town’s system more secure.

“Information Technology systems are always in need of change to improve communications and administration within the system, upgrade and maintain system security and back up systems,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“These changes are a significant step forward for the Town in reducing the risk of an IT breach and improving system resilience and efficiency.”

Changes included an upgrade to firewalls, replacing all outdated open-source firewalls with firewalls that enhance security and encryption.

Improvements have been to significantly reduce the Town’s vulnerability by eliminating all open ports and addressing security vulnerabilities. The new system will significantly reduce the Town’s exposure to cyber threats.

“Updates are constantly happening, but these changes were planned for some time and are considered more of a major change,” says Manzer.

“A 24-hour network security is behind many of the changes that have been implemented.

The round-the-clock security monitoring will allow a continuous security monitoring of all firewalls to ensure prompt detection and response to any breach of security.

Other improvements include the transition to cloud-based phone serves, which will allow for streamline communication and a more efficient communication capability town-wide.

In addition, there is active monitoring of phone internet protocols (IP) to strengthen the Town’s network security measures.

Other significant and minor changes have been made to help the Town remain cyber threat free.

Cost of the upgrades is about $48,000.