Often, when we think about cybersecurity and hackers, big corporations are the first targets that come to mind. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. This misconception typically puts the little guy more at risk. Municipalities house a significant amount of sensitive information, and for many hackers, they are easy targets.
Although the ways for protecting an organization from security threats are virtually endless, there are three areas where municipalities should be focusing their efforts.
No matter how many policies and security measures get put in place, the weakest link will always present significant problems for townships. What’s that vulnerability? Unfortunately, it’s us ‒ people.
Let’s say a coworker gets an email from Amazon claiming there is a problem with their account. The email has a Word document with directions attached for them to download. The problem is, the sender was not Amazon, and the Word document containing malware just infected their device.
Phishing schemes such as this are all too common. That’s why awareness training is essential.
When the end-user is knowledgeable about the various threats they may encounter and how to avoid them, your organization will be significantly more secure.
Security Audits & Monitoring
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think about securing their computer is an anti-virus program and firewall. Although these tools are useful, it’s certainly not enough to fully protect an organization. Even if a business implements security monitoring and other advanced protections, it is always a good idea to consider an audit.
Audits check for any vulnerabilities in a business’ network. They allow organizations to see where their systems are failing, how third-parties could gain access to their information and, most notably, what to do about it.
A security audit is a great way to make sure your organization is secure, and if it’s not, how to fix it. Because the cyber world is continually changing, an annual audit won’t have the same effect without the aid of qualified professionals to address vulnerabilities and implement stronger solutions.
MSPs (managed services providers) will not only maintain and secure municipal networks, but they constantly look for errors and deficiencies and fix them as soon as they appear. Even if an organization has an IT staff, these professionals typically have considerably more information and tools at their disposal. The more help one has, the less likely breaches will be.
Implement A Response Plan
Too often, municipalities assume that they are not worthy targets for hackers. That’s why they don’t have a plan in place for what to do when an attack does occur.
The key to continuing operations in the face of adversity is creating a response strategy. Without a plan in place, expect chaos to reign and systems to be down much longer than necessary. With the help of security specialists, developing a response for various types of attacks could save municipalities money and time in the long run.
Don’t Be an Easy Target
Information. It’s something people have been trying to keep under wraps since the beginning of time. Whether a small municipality or a large insurance company, there is always valuable data to be stolen and exploited.
Don’t be another easy target. By implementing these three strategies, the security of your organization will increase significantly.