LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Just before Wednesday afternoon, officials with the city of Little Rock made a statement regarding taking the municipal computer network offline due to what it called a security concern.
In a statement from the mayor’s office, aside from the city’s 911 call center and 311 service, all other city emails and network applications are down because of this concern.
Stephen Addison is the Dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas. He has a history in cybersecurity and said he was not shocked when he read the statement from the city.
“Industries, governments, schools, hospitals there is a wide degree of vulnerability, and the vulnerability isn’t really through any high-tech attacks,” Addison said. “Most of the vulnerability that we see today can be traced back to outdated systems.”
The city of Little Rock has not said what prompted the concern. Notices of system outages were first posted to city social media platforms Tuesday morning, but those posts did not mention why the systems were down.
Addison said he believes several ways businesses can manage their cybersecurity is by having multiple policies in place.
“Develop policies about what devices are allowed on the system and how devices can be used when they’re not on the system,” Addison said. “You have to require a password that is not easily liable to get penetrated.”
City services that might normally be requested online, including building, electrical, plumbing or mechanical permits, can be obtained at the Planning and Development Department located at 723 West Markham Street. Business licenses can be requested at City Hall at 500 West Markham.
City departments can also be reached by telephone at 501-371-4510.
The statement for the city said teams are working to return to normal network services as soon as possible but gave no timeframe for when that may happen.