It has never been more vital for public sector organisations to safeguard personal data against unprecedented cyber threats. Risks from cyberattacks, with email being the main attack vector, have the potential to cripple services and affect day-to-day functioning of public administration at all levels.
At the same time, the impact on individuals can be deep and long-lasting. As public sector organisations increasingly adopt emerging technologies and roll out new and improved digital strategies, they must do so aware of an increased amount of risk.
At the same time, new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have been put in place to help reduce the attack surface by changing the way local government organisations collect, store and use personal data. Recent high profile cybersecurity incidents such as ransomware attacks on public infrastructure (WannaCry, 2018) highlight the vulnerability of public service organisations and the profound impact on citizens.
It's no mean feat. Local authorities must inspire public trust by protecting the personal information they hold while reducing the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks from a variety of sources including criminal hackers, insiders and foreign states.
At Bridgeway we work with organisations to address and mitigate these risks.
Below is a guide to the different challenges we see in the public sector:
Data Protection Compliance
Think about how much personal and sensitive data you have in your organisation. All of this data is in constant transit across multiple departments and much of this data has the legal requirement of being accessible and transparent for citizens. If not appropriately protected, the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches increases dramatically.
Cost Effective Security
With many local governments facing funding challenges, cybersecurity spending is lower than it should be, making them vulnerable to ransomware and other advanced attacks. Any cybersecurity incident can have a serious impact on service delivery and efficient functioning of local government departments. Administrators need the ability to quickly prioritise and manage threats.
Addressing Security Awareness
Human error is the leading cause of security breaches that can cost an organisation millions in financial losses, reputation damage and fines. Often employees click on links in emails believing them to be harmless without realising the damage it can have, not only financially but also in terms of reputation. Old training models have proven ineffective to effectively address security awareness and reduce risk. At Bridgeway we make our cyber awareness training courses fun and interactive and include live demonstrations of common hacking techniques and real life scenarios involving both work and personal devices.
Local government organisations face threats from three different groups. There are the malicious insiders who purposefully take confidential data and/or exploit systems, the compromised insiders whose email accounts are taken over through external phishing or malware attacks. Then there are the careless insiders who seek to violate internal security policies and accidentally leak or expose sensitive data.
Continuity and Cyber Resilience
Getting cyber resilience right has never been more important as public services bear the burden of increasing cyber threats. A sound cyber resilience strategy focuses not just on combating cyberattacks but ensuring public sector staff remain connected during and after an attack to maintain services to citizens. Ensuring data is protected and recoverable after a threat is neutralised is key to business continuity.
Improving Web Security
The two most common vectors for cyber attacks are email and web. Email is often the point of compromise, while the web can be used subsequently to download a malicious payload or exfiltrate data. In addition to stopping access to malicious content, IT administrators need to monitor web traffic to block web sites that are out of organisation policy or contain questionable content.
Become Cyber Resilient with Bridgeway
Our Cyber Security Awareness Training courses educates staff on the dangers of cyber attacks; being able to understand what they are, how they work and what to look out for. It’s vital to give end-users the awareness needed to help prevent attacks, not only in the work place, but also in their homes and families lives. Consequently your colleagues can share their knowledge, inconfidence, with family, friends and members of the public.
If you'd like to know more about our Cyber Security Awareness Training courses and how they can help your organisation become cyber resilient please get in touch on 01223 979 090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.