Technology January 4, 2019 Last updated January 3rd, 2019 356 Reads share

Cyber Security: A Major Concern for Public Sector

Image Credit: Depositphotos

Security breaches are booming and blooming all over the globe, dominating the headlines lately. This calls for taking adequate measures to future-proof oneself. Now just like banking, manufacturing, shopping, entertainment, even public sectors face endless challenges in regards to data security. In fact, the rise in mobility, cloud computing, and other tech has resulted in IT administrators becoming insomniac.

Cyber-attacks are often found targeting government sectors, have you ever wondered why? Because they wish to gain more access to sensitive personal information whether of citizens and employees, as well as proprietary software, strategic plans, and other information. So in that case what these public sector needs to be done to bolster its cybersecurity?

  • Firstly and foremost, identify threats and vulnerabilities
  • Secondly, invest in risk mitigation
  • Lastly, keep accessing and improving cybersecurity efforts

Gone are the days when cybersecurity was all about protecting data, today it also encompasses of preventing dangerous attacks that definitely cost money or even worse potentially put lives at risk. This threat of a breach cannot be taken lightly – hence we require to bolster cyber defenses.

How can the public sector manage cyber threats?   

Private security on the contrary strongly supports new measures that enhance cybersecurity. However, businesses have not displayed a strong commitment to cybersecurity- one of the reason is philosophical. Most of the corporate leaders think that tanks associated with the corporate world- maintain one version or another of a libertarian or conservative laissez-faire approach, stating they are best left alone, not regulated, free to follow their own courses. They further hold that their primary duty is to their shareholders, who own the corporations, and not to the common good. Still, numerous practical barriers have limited and continue to limit, efforts to improve private sector security.

  1. Identify what needs to be protected

    Seems quite simple, isn’t it! Have you thought of identifying your organization’s critical infrastructure and data assets? If not, it’s time to do so. Moreover, you can also consider digital, and paper financial information, all you need to do is include physical elements such as employee records, manufacturing equipment, corporate brand assets, and people assets. Don’t forget to include the life cycle of those assets as well: How they’re created, purchased, stored, sold, modified, maintained, transmitted and purged.

    By creating a detailed network diagram, you can cross-reference both the network boundaries of the IT environment. It definitely turnouts to be a perfect data classification policy. Also, it is very important to communicate what assets are valuable, where they’re located and who is responsible for them. Try a new way out- consider sharing your IT security policy, its acceptable use and code of ethics/conduct with your staff members.  Make sure that your staff is well aware of communication channels for example- incident response handling procedures, appropriate escalation paths, emails, phone numbers and what not!

  2. Classify roles

    In addition to the first step, try evaluating your organization’s current state of data protection. With the emerging technology advancement, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, professionals can easily identify all the possible key vulnerabilities, legacy systems, access points and the flow of data in and out of the organization. You can also create a hardware and software inventory listing. By doing this, you will be able to map things to your network diagram and data classification pretty easily.

    Next, you can do is review and classify access to these critical data assets via role-based security measures. And further, make sure that these reviews are conducted in such a manner that provides audible and sustainable evidence of the review and management signoff. Don’t forget to include third-party vendors and external forces that access the network.

    It is always a wise decision to perform cybersecurity risk management with a cross-section of staff across your organization will provide valuable insights. Ask your facility manager or network engineer to come up with a definition will act as further education and improved IT security awareness, and will help you create a risk register of known and potential threats.

     

  3. Prioritize

    I am sure you must have identified all those cybersecurity vulnerabilities that need to be addressed till now. Prioritize these items wisely! This can be done based on your organization’s available resources and appetite for risk. What you can do is?

    1. Estimate the cost for each remediation step
    2. Create a timeline

    Communicating such information will definitely help in starting the process of operationalizing your remediation steps. This will make your organization in becoming proactive instead of being reactive to risk.

  4. Respond well

    Having a common framework in pace is very important for an organization’s security to be it private or public. So do ensure to track issues that arise and other key metrics, and report those up to the board.

  5. Continuously learn & evolve

    Understanding the fact that nobody ever wants a cyber threat to repeat itself.  It’s you who requires the ability to learn from historical data and adapt your risk management strategy as soon as possible.

    Other common cybersecurity measures worth considering are:

  • Make use of strong passwords
  • Control access
  • Put up a firewall
  • Monitor for intrusion
  • Security software is a must
  • Update programs and systems regularly
  • Raise awareness
  1. On and all, you require working towards a series of training workshops and establish ways of managing the risk of a cyber-attack and mitigate the effects of a breach that does occur. Be cautious and prevent, detect and respond to cyber threats and attacks in the best way you can!

Tensions Between Cybersecurity and Other Public Policy Concerns

Economics and cybersecurity are intimately intertwined in the public policy debate in two ways—the scale of economic losses due to adversary operations for cyber exploitation and the effects of economics on the scope and nature of vendor and end-user investments in cybersecurity.

economic approaches to promote cybersecurity should identify actions that lower barriers and eliminate disincentives. They should create incentives to boost the economic benefits that flow from attention to cybersecurity and should penalize inattention to cybersecurity or actions that cause harm in cyberspace.

 cybersecurity signs at the workplace with a laptop stock image

 

 

 

Charles Richards

Charles Richards

Charles Richards strongly believes that knowledge is meant to be shared, for there is a lot we can learn from each other. A business analyst by day and a writer at night, Charles like to write on some new and trending technical aspects. He is currently working at TatvaSoft UK which is a leading big data company in the UK.

Read Full Bio