Local government is a field where cybersecurity should be taken seriously and extra precautions must be taken to safeguard the government’s sensitive data, systems, and networks.
Between government agencies, government-run programs, and employees’ personal information, local governments must put in the effort to make sure their cybersecurity measures are up-to-date, so they can avoid costly consequences down the line.
Here are seven tips for better local government cybersecurity to ensure your security operations are strong and robust:
1. Train All of Your Employees on Security
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and each employee should understand the basics of staying safe online. Security Today echoes this sentiment, reporting that 88–95% of data breaches are caused by employee errors.
Security awareness training is essential to ensure everyone understands the importance of safe and secure online practices and, therefore, avoid costly data breaches.
2. Choose a Certified Cybersecurity Provider
Your cybersecurity provider should have the right certifications and stay up-to-date on government cybersecurity regulations. Since the government is held to stricter regulations than commercial businesses, your local government needs a certified provider who can help you check the boxes of all compliance regulations.
These certifications can be any of the following:
- ISO/IEC 27001 is an internationally recognized standard for information security management.
- FISMA certification ensures government data is securely stored and handled according to government regulations.
3. Make a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster recovery planning is a key element of government cybersecurity. No matter how many security precautions an organization may take, any type of disaster is disruptive and damaging. Planning ahead and having a system in place can provide a breath of relief should a security breach or other emergency occur.
4. Budget for Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is an investment that is well worth it. By including government cybersecurity in your budget, you can potentially be saved from the following:
- Financial losses from security incidents
- Costly downtime costs while systems are restored
- Damaged government reputation from data breaches
5. Take a Cybersecurity Assessment
It’s better to know your weak points early on than to have them found by a cybercriminal knee-deep into your data. Regular assessments of data and government cybersecurity systems can identify any vulnerabilities in your security. For a safer system, you must understand the scope of your government’s cybersecurity needs.
6. Follow Best Practices
Understanding best practices means safeguarding government systems efficiently. These practices include:
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Keep access to government and systems accounts secure with two-step verification.
- Virtual Private Networks: For secure remote access to government networks, fortify your networks.
- Software Updates: Be aware of the latest patches and software versions available and take action before any security vulnerabilities arise.
- Complex Passwords: Use a combination of uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols for better government cybersecurity.
7. Take Phishing Seriously
Phishing attacks can be particularly dangerous for government organizations, because cybercriminals, in a nifty disguise, purposely target government officials or employees to gain access to sensitive data.
Plus, all types of organizations are seeing more and more phishing attacks on their operations. In fact, recently 81% of global organizations reported an increase in phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks can be difficult to recognize. That’s why training your employees on the signs of a phishing attack can help reduce the number of potential data breaches. Keep your sensitive information safe and make phishing training a requirement.
Trust a Provider Like Telewire Where Local Government Is Our Specialty
At Telewire, we recognize the complex needs of government organizations, which is why we offer government cybersecurity solutions. Our solutions are tailored to meet your local government’s individual needs. We believe in providing you with the tools to ensure your government data and systems are secure from malicious actors.
We understand the risks local government agencies face today and can create a strategic plan to not only address, but eliminate security risks. Our team is dedicated to providing innovative, quality solutions that help government agencies protect their data and systems while staying compliant with government regulations.
Let us help you ensure your government organization has the best, most secure information technology infrastructure in place. Contact us today to get started.