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Dutchess County Earns Top Ten Ranking for 21st Consecutive Year
Focus on cyber security, digital upgrades contribute to success

Published: 8/25/2023

Poughkeepsie...  Dutchess County Government’s continued commitment to provide innovative technology to serve residents and businesses, and its dedicated focus on cyber security readiness, has again earned the County national recognition. Dutchess County’s Office of Central & Information Services (OCIS) has been ranked 3rd in the nation among mid-size county governments for its use of technology in the 2023 Digital Counties Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo). Dutchess County has been ranked in the top 10 for all 21 years the survey has been conducted.

OCIS Commissioner Glenn Marchi, Ph.D., said, “The team at OCIS continues to find and implement smart, user-friendly and cost-saving technology solutions for County employees, residents, and businesses, ensuring the data is as accurate and secure as possible. We are grateful for the continued recognition of our commitment and hard work.”

Commissioner Marchi, who has led OCIS since 2016, has focused on prioritizing cyber security as well as providing the critical tools, support and services County departments and the public rely on.

The need for cybersecurity is evidenced by continued reports of local and state governments facing cyber threats and attacks. A 2023 Data Breach Investigation Report shows 74 percent of all breaches include the human element, where employees are targeted through malicious tactics such as stolen login credentials or social engineering. Cyber-attacks like this can result in sensitive data being stolen and held for ransom. Regionally, Suffolk County is still recovering from the impacts of a 2022 ransomware attack demanding $2.5 million that forced the county government offline for weeks.

Under Commissioner Marchi’s leadership, the County participates in numerous cyber security tabletop exercises and employee trainings annually to increase cybersecurity awareness and preparedness. To help increase municipalities’ preparedness, the County contributed to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Cyber Security Primer for Local Government Leaders in 2022, which was distributed at the County’s second annual Cyber Security Summit.

County Executive William F.X. O’Neil said, “Congratulations to the team at OCIS for this much deserved recognition of their continued dedication to providing premier technology services. The team remains committed to staying aware of and planning for cyber-attacks, ensuring County data remains secure, preventing potentially costly interruptions to our day-to-day operations and helping ensure we can provide the vital services residents and businesses rely on.”

Dutchess County OCIS is not only a leader in cyber security, but also continues to provide cutting edge technology services, such as ParcelAccess. This Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications is one of the County’s most popular online applications and was recently revamped to better serve the more than half a million unique visitors who use the application annually to find data on more than 110,000 parcels, including maps, property sales records, well reports, structure photos, historic aerial overviews, wetland and flood zone boundaries, geographic elevations, and more. ParcelAccess’ Real Property Tax and assessor data is used by thousands of residents and businesses.

Other new features of the redesign include:

  • An improved search tool enabling users to more quickly and easily find lot numbers, owner names, or addresses;
  • Improved responsiveness while panning and zooming around the map as well as performing analytical tasks; and
  • Inclusion of both Sales and Assessment search capabilities within the map, rather than on a separate site.

Other applications that were developed or upgraded in 2022, include:

  • Online platform for the Department of Emergency Response’s Access and Functional Needs Registry for individuals who may need additional assistance in an emergency to share their contact information and needs; and
  • Upgraded Electronic Recording capabilities of the Dutchess County Clerk, to allow for electronic filing of land, property, court, and other documents.
  • GIS Open Data Portal providing free and open access to numerous GIS datasets.

“Counties are using technology to pursue bold, cutting-edge approaches to serving our residents,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Whether improving disaster resiliency, enhancing transportation, or exploring the potential of artificial intelligence, counties are leveraging technology to achieve local priorities. We applaud the Digital Counties Survey winners for deploying technological solutions that improve our residents’ quality of life.”