Technological advancement comes with advantages and disadvantages in equal measure. Over the years, various organizations, including governments, have adopted online platforms to ease the provision of services to the masses. Today, you can easily file your tax returns and apply for welfare benefits using online government services. Despite the efficiency of these platforms, they are susceptible to criminal or malicious attacks from hackers. Below are a few steps city governments should take to boost cybersecurity.
1- Handle Cyber Security as a Critical Organizational Issue
When faced with breaches, most organizations turn to the IT department for help and direction. However, this shouldn’t be left to the IT department since it affects everyone working for the city. The best way to approach cyber security is to educate and create awareness among stakeholders about cyber security. City governments should emulate the private sector’s seriousness when protecting themselves against cyber-attacks.
Authorities to make cyber security a central part of their operations, not only focusing on compliance. Employees should be made aware of the assets at risk and how they can spot and prevent attacks.
2- Increase Security Within Their Supply Chain
Most government organizations outsource their IT services, relying on multiple service providers and contractors to manage their online platforms. With several parties involved, the chances of sensitive documents being leaked or stolen are high. The best way to handle this is by tightening the tendering process. Cyber security should be at the top of your concern; you should award contracts to certified firms that meet industry standards. They should also monitor and carry out regular independent audits to ensure government standards are observed. More importantly, authorities should ensure the contractors have security measures to deal with potential attacks.
3- Encourage Innovative Cyber Security Solutions
The best way to deal with cyber-attacks is by staying ahead of criminals and malicious hackers at all times. Authorities should remember that these individuals are always looking for a back door; if one is closed, they will work towards finding another. City officials need to come up with cost-effective and innovative ways to stay ahead of cybercriminals. They can implement security measures such as biometrics, analytics, and virtualization to restrict access.
4- Collaborate with the Private Sector
The private sector has covered several milestones in cyber security, making them experts on the subject. City authorities should consider tapping into their experiences and expertise. Working together promotes external thinking and peer comparisons. This initiative is a good way to share intelligence on actual and potential cyber-attacks.
5- Plan Your Talent Needs
Cybersecurity is one of the top debates in the public and private sectors. This means there is a growing demand for people with skills to combat cyber-attacks. However, city authorities cannot compete with the competitive salaries offered in the private sector; this means they can’t retain the best talent. Strategically planning your workforce can help address this problem, assuming you lose specialists after a few years. Make an effort to train young talents to succeed those who move to the private sector.