Google makes pitch to lure Baltimore officials away from Microsoft after ransomware attack

A Google salesman and lobbyist invited a top aide for Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young to compare its email and office software in an effort to lure city officials away from its competitor Microsoft, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The effort to persuade city officials to Google follows a May 7 ransomware attack that shut down Baltimore city employees' emails, halted credit card payments for city services and froze the property market. Although city officials refused to pay the ransom, many of the issues have been fixed.

Baltimore estimates the cost of the attack to be more than $18 million, reports The Baltimore Sun. City officials disclosed July 18 that its hired Microsoft and five other firms to help with the attack response, costing $2.8 million.

When the attack happened, city officials created Gmail accounts to continue communicating. However, Google temporary froze some of the accounts on May 23, saying that employees had tripped its security system.

Now, Google is making the pitch that Baltimore could save as much as $16.2 million a year by switching to the technology giant's email and collaboration tools.

Baltimore's IT department head Frank Johnson, however, is not convinced moving away from Microsoft is worth it.

"The opportunity cost of change, of us flipping from Office to Google Docs, even if they give it to us for free will cost us an inordinate amount of money in lost productivity, efficiency," he told The Baltimore Sun. "Plus there will be a several million dollar change-over fee. It just doesn't make sense in my humble opinion."

More articles on cybersecurity:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America alerts 3,900 patients of data breach
Texas pathology group alerts 46,500 patients of data breach
Hackers try to reroute payroll deposits at Texas health system

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