BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If hackers still have their eyes on Baltimore, the city is trying to stay a step ahead of the game.

Baltimore Board of Estimates has approved a $20 million insurance plan that could protect the city against a repeat cyber attack.

“Hopefully there will not be another cyberattack in Baltimore City, but it’s good to have the insurance and to have the safety net,” said Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations Sheryl Goldstein.

It’s lesson officials learned the hard way earlier this year, when hackers seized key aspects of the city’s network and held it hostage.

Online payment systems and emails were down for weeks, when the city refused to pay a ransom out of principle. This new plan- which includes the $20 million in combined coverage- costs the city $835,000.

That’s just a fraction of the estimated $18 million the city said it would have to shell out back in March just to get things back to normal.

The BOE unanimously approved the plan Wednesday, which will provide benefits including an incident response team, digital data recovery and network security that could prevent a future attack.

Mayor Jack Young’s office said this is the first time the city has had this type of insurance.

“There was sort of the initial recovery phase where it was the critical getting everything operating and going again, we are now in the next phase of building a better and stronger and more protected network.” Goldstein said.

The cyberattack was so aggressive the FBI got involved. The hackers originally demanded $76,000 to free up the system, but the city refused to pay.

Ava-joye Burnett

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