Theft, viruses, system failures, every organization should be wary of and prepared for these problems. Every municipality has valuable information that could be compromised without the right precautions in place. Beyond that specific threat, other issues arise such as security system failures and employees accidentally installing viruses on devices. Anything is possible in the digital age.
While the concept of safeguarding information is daunting, following these simple guidelines helps minimize (but won’t eliminate) the risks.
- Security Measures
Due to the nature of the information held by municipalities, having a well-established plan is crucial. Systems, procedures, and policies should be in place to ensure that data is shared, saved, and stored correctly. Although programs differ for each organization, there are fundamental policies everyone should implement.
- All employees should be aware of the policies they are to follow as well as the risks and repercussions when they don’t.
- A secure network is essential to safeguarding important information.
- Consider encrypting shared files; this can be a considerable advantage when data is compromised.
- Passwords should be 12-characters with no repeating characters, at least one uppercase, lowercase, number and special character included. Every organization should be changing passwords at least quarterly to keep systems as secure as possible.
- There is no way to ensure a breach will not happen; therefore municipalities need to plan for the inevitable. This plan outlines personnel roles and details each step to recovering compromised or lost data. With a clear strategy already set, recovery will be exponentially faster and more effective.
- Backup and Archiving
Backing up data is extremely important to ensuring information is not lost. The best practices include scheduling regular backups (continuous is the preferred option) and using multiple storage methods to ensure continuity. That way, if one form of storage fails, there is still an alternative.
Archiving is an important responsibility of any township, especially where historical records are concerned. As with security measures, there should also be a clear-cut policy, including when and where employees need to archive data. This policy should take federal, state, and local compliance measures into consideration and be updated as changes occur.
Although there are several ways in which an organization can archive data, an archival product with a flexible search engine and audit tracking should be considered. These features not only make the process more manageable, but they also help track personnel who access each archive (and when they do).
These measures are that much more helpful when the organization has someone to manage it, whether that’s a member of the staff or a third-party provider. Every employee should be aware of policies they need to follow, though a team with extensive knowledge of the technology, compliance issues, and required security measures helps considerably.
We can’t all be data experts, and there is a lot to manage when it comes to the extensive information municipalities hold. From network security and policy development to password updates, having an expert at hand makes a considerable difference. They will ensure the entire process runs smoothly and efficiently.
How Does Your Organization Match Up?
Possessing sensitive information is a heavy burden – all the more reason to protect it.
Not sure if your organization has the right personnel in place to get the job done? Consider talking to a managed service provider with extensive knowledge and experience working with municipalities in data security. That’s where Netzbahn comes in. Take your organization’s data protection measures from a “0” to a “10” with the right team on your side.