If you work in government, know that cyber security is a primary concern with organizations both big and small. The sad truth is cyber attacks aren’t going away. And they’re going to keep adapting, changing, and testing organizations across the world for vulnerabilities.
One of the best tools we have for combating cyber attacks is to simply stay informed and keep adapting to the shifting cyber landscape. That’s why we‘re excited to inform you about the recently passed DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act and review key benefits that can help local government protect themselves.
The Act passed in December 2020 and encourages state and local agencies to shift to a .gov website domain from a .com or .org website domain. The Act includes support from the federal government such as services, security enhancements, and outreach.
A main takeaway is that the Act transfers security and services of .gov website domains over to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) from the General Services Administration.
How will this strengthen government website security?
Authority & Recognition
The .gov websites domains can only be issued by the US government and requires the buyer to submit evidence that they are buying on behalf of a legitimate government entity. This makes it much harder to spoof a government website or create malicious links to non-government website.
Cyber Security Enhancements
State and local governments who migrate to a .gov website domain will improve cybersecurity and enhance trust amongst citizens. This is an important pathway as local governments have been a favorable target from cyber criminals, making up 44% of cyber attacks in 2020..
What are the other benefits to local government?
One of the most attractive benefits is the reduction or waiving of annual fees. CISA can reduce or waive fees, including a $400 annual registration fee, which has been one of the primary obstacle for state and local governments to make the switch to the new domain. Homeland Security also offers grant programs for migrating your current website. This could be critical for many government entities as less than half of all states have dedicated cybersecurity budgets.
Government Level Support Infrastructure
Support activities for governments include guidance, 24/7 help desk, password resets, multi-factor authentication, update notifications, and migration effort assistance.
Having a secure website is a critical piece of a local government organization’s cyber security plan. Utilizing the tools and assistance provided by the DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act will help your organization stay more secure while saving valuable resources.