It's Cybersecurity Awareness Month and for those who don't already know, cyber threats are on the rise, posing serious problems for federal, state and local governments. According to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 317 million new pieces of malware -- computer viruses or other malicious software -- were created last year. That means nearly one million new threats were released each day.
Local government networks are particularly ripe targets for cyber-attacks because of the rich private citizen data they contain. From court records to online payment information, criminals can find a treasure trove of information to steal the identity of citizens. As local government professionals, we are responsible not only for incorporating technological plans to improve service delivery, information sharing, organizational communication, and citizen access, but also for protecting the citizens of our community from cybersecurity incidents.
So as a leader, how can you protect your community from getting hacked? Below is a quick, yet effective cybersecurity reference checklist from Local Government Cyber Security: Getting Started, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security non-technical guide, intended to help local government professionals determine how frequently a cybersecurity task should be done to protect those in their community. This is a great tool for those who don’t have a big budget or dedicated staff focusing on cybersecurity.
If you are trying to make a case for cybersecurity spending for your local government, take a look at how IT leaders in Maricopa County, Arizona are working to demonstrate the ROI on cybersecurity investments.
Has your community implemented a cybersecurity plan? Share with us below!