In 2020, local governments accounted for 44% of cybersecurity attacks with weak passwords making up 80% of hacking-related breaches. This information signals a clear need to move beyond a simple suggestion to “create strong password” and consider building a multi-layered protection strategy for your organization. Here are a few ways you can start creating a better defense strategy to combat cyberattacks.
1. Employee Education and Training
Do more than suggest, train your staff. Create quarterly training sessions to review security best practices and teach your staff to identifying email fraud and phishing scams, With nearly a quarter of all data breaches being tracked back to human error, it’s important to establish schedule to train staff on the constantly changing world of cyber security.
2. Due Diligence, Routine Maintenance, and Monitoring
Conduct a regular audit of your technical infrastructure and identify any vulnerable areas, update software, implement antivirus software, and use firewall protection. These are just a few steps every local government organization needs to take to safeguard your infrastructure and data.
3. Password Managers
Security experts recommend password managers calling them a “critical aid” in your cyber security strategy. Since strong passwords are often difficult to remember and create, password managers are a useful tool to help create a unique and lengthy password, as well as store them, with the ability to work across desktops and phones.
4. Two Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) in combination with password managers are a “best defense” strategy recommended by security experts. 2FA works when you log into an account, and then are provided with an additional authentication measure that generates a code through text, second email, or app that you must verify.
5. Have an Effective Back Up Strategy
Create a regular back up schedule with a disaster recovery plan and follow the 3-2-1 rule. A back up strategy is not only helpful in restoring data from cyber attacks, but it is important for other data corruptions including human error, technology failures, or natural disasters.
A weak cybersecurity strategy is an open invitation to cyber criminals, putting your local government and citizens data at risk. We encourage you to follow these best practices for a multi-layered protection strategy for your local government.
If your local government has the means to invest in cyber security strategy, we recommend consulting with a cybersecurity expert or company to help get started.