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Court Leader's Advantage

71 EpisodesProduced by Peter C. KieferWebsite

Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.


Courts and Cyberattacks! It’s Not “If” – It’s “When”

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode

Threats from cyberattacks can be easily ignored by courts. There are many rationalizations:

“Our court is too small to worry about cyberattacks”

“We have a great firewall that keeps everything out”

“Our employees change their passwords every three months just like clockwork”

“Everyone has been told not to open suspicious email attachments”

Often the perspective can be “We’re good”

You are good until the morning you fire up your desktop only to find a black screen with the words “pay $50,000 in bitcoin and we will send you the codes to unlock your case management system.” Cyber-experts continue to advise that it isn’t a matter of “if,” it is a matter of “when.”

In this episode we are talking to court professionals, several of whom have suffered through a cyberattack in their court. We’ll be exploring questions including:

· How did the court respond to the cyberattack?

· What could management have done differently?

· What could they have done to have prevented a cyberattack in the first place?

· What advice does our panel of experts have for the rest of us?

Our panel today includes:

Kevin Bowling is the Court Administrator for the 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County, Michigan Kevin is also co-chair of the National Center for State Courts’ Joint Technology Committee and has helped develop three resource bulletins to assist court managers with handling cyberattacks.  He is a Past President of the National Association for Court Management, Co-Chair of the DOJ Global Advisory Committee.  Kevin received his B.A. in Political Science/Public Administration from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island; a M.S. in Judicial Administration from the University of Denver College of Law; a J.D. from Thomas M.Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management.

Julie Hidy is the Court Administrator for the Probate Court in Fayette County, Ohio  A graduate of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Certified Court Management Program in 2014, Julia has been seasoned by events such as an extensive conversion of the case management system in 2014, Fayette County’s extensive ransomware/malware attack of June, 2019, subsequent case management update in September, 2019, and the COVID-19 global pandemic. As the Fayette County Courthouse never closed during COVID-19, Julia managed a court staff that never worked from home and navigated court-in-session with restrictions and distanced hearings in person.

Casey Kennedy is the Director for the Office of Court Information Services at the Office of State Court Administration in Austin, Texas.  . Casey is currently the chair of the Court Information Technology Officer Consortium, a national organization of Court IT professionals. He holds a BA in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Jorge Basto is the Director of IT Programs for the Cherokee County Clerk of Courts in Canton, Georgia.  Prior to joining the Clerk’s Office, Mr. Basto served as Georgia’s Chief Information Officer for 15 years with the Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).  Jorge is a graduate of Georgia State University.

Montrella Jackson is the Court Administrator for the Akron Municipal Court, in Akron, Ohio.  She received a B.A. in Political Science from the University  of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts and subsequently earned a law degree from the University of Akron School  of Law.

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