With fiber optic cable accessible to most communities across Northwest Georgia, Rome-based Parker Systems is devoting considerable attention to security and management of small business computer systems throughout the region.

“I know what’s wrong with their network before they do,” E.J. Hunt with Parker Systems told Rome Floyd Chamber Economic Development committee members Friday.

Hunt they aspire to handle all kinds of patch work and virus management in a rapidly changing technological world that is sensitive to security and ransomware issues.

One of the first lines of defense against an outside attack is a strong password.

It’s important to change that password frequently,he said, a least every two years.

Despite paying the hackers, one local company that suffered a ransomware attack still had to replace everything in their system, from servers to individual work stations, he said.

The small individual user is not as likely to suffer from a ransomware attack because they attackers know who they are targeting. Along with that they know individual user doesn’t have the access to large cash to pay the ransom.

Hunt said the attackers are difficult to trace but that his experience indicates that most of the intrusions originate from China or Russia.

Ken Carlton, another Parker Systems official was asked about the extension of broadband services into rural area.

“There’s not a quick silver bullet,” Carlton said.

Getting a return on investment from the extension of fiber to residential customers in rural areas is a major challenge. The cost of laying fiber can range from as little as $16 to $20 a feet under the best of conditions to as much as $85 to $90 a foot.

Keith Drew, Vertical Communications a local IT company, said the factors driving broadband are distance and terrain.

“In Northwest Georgia, you have both to deal with,” Drew said.

Parker Systems has two large data centers in Rome, one of which offers space for small businesses to house their servers and storage needs with direct access via the Parker fiber network.

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