Farmington Library staff members on leave, IT concerns cited

Farmington Community Library has placed some of its information technology (IT) staff on leave, after an assessment showed “system deficiencies and vulnerabilities.”

The move came to light during Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting, when a staff member mentioned it during public comment. While trustees typically don’t respond to comments, Farmington Hills trustee Danette Duron-Willner said that she was “taken aback” by “some of the risks and vulnerabilities that truly exist and that jeopardize a lot of privacy and data considerations.”

Duron-Willner said those issues were discussed by trustees in a closed meeting, allowed by law to review privileged attorney-client communications.

“When it was brought to the current board… there is no way that we should ignore that,” she said. “The decisions were not made lightly, and there have not been any final decisions made about data security and IT.” 

In a text message, Director Riti Grover said the library has partnered with Troy-based MBM Technology Solutions “to thoroughly assess our current network and data security, and support our IT needs.”

“At this time, there will be changes to our current IT department and its operations as we continue to further improve our services and address any potential deficiencies and vulnerabilities,” she wrote. “In conjunction with this IT consultant partner, we are in the midst of further assessing and taking any necessary corrective actions to address IT vulnerabilities.”

Grover declined to say whether patron data is currently at risk, but added, “As a part of our continuous efforts to enhance our services, a vulnerability assessment was conducted. As a result we were made aware of critical security and network infrastructure vulnerabilities.”

MBM was hired “to diagnose and remedy the issues at the earliest and strengthen our current system,” she added.

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