Ensuring System Security

Tim Elmer’s role as a Network Administrator in Spokane Transit’s Information Services (IS) Department is dynamic.

“We are here to keep technology working for STA and keep the systems secure and running smoothly and reliably,” said Elmer. “The IS Department is always looking for ways to be more in line with current industry standards to make our technology more secure and efficient.”

The IS Department has continued to evolve their work over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly regarding their key responsibility for ensuring system security.

While phishing attacks have increased globally during the pandemic, the IS Department has worked to train STA employees on how to defend themselves and the organization against phishing attempts.

“Phishing has always been a security threat for everyone,” Elmer said. “It is one of the favored means of bad actors to gain access to any secure system.”

Phishing is an attempt to circumvent security by posing as a legitimate recognized source, often combined with a request for sensitive information. The details obtained are then used to conduct fraud.

“Phishing exploits the human tendencies to want convenience and our desire to be helpful to others,” said Elmer. “When you receive an email that is asking to provide credentials or sensitive information, it is important to question it and verify the request.”

Beyond security, Elmer takes pride in his team’s role in providing public transportation to the community during the coronavirus emergency.

“Regardless of how removed it may seem, I know what I am doing helps facilitate our services to the public,” said Elmer. “What I do enables the technology that STA depends on to continue to help people get to work, to their doctors’ appointments and essential services during this crisis.”

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