Just like any other business, public sector organizations also face challenges when it comes to the implementation of digital infrastructure. Evolving trends in mobility, cloud computing, and advanced targeted attacks create data security challenges for this sector.
In the public sector, cybersecurity software in government and public sector enterprises should be prioritized as they deal with vast amounts of sensitive data on a daily basis. They need cutting-edge technology to secure the vast amounts of data that they generate. Public departments also need to understand the risks associated with individual threats and prioritize their resources according to their infrastructure.
In the past, cyberattacks that have taken place on government and public sector departments have highlighted the extreme fragility of government cybersecurity. Alien threats, especially from enemy regions, can exploit such weaknesses and steal highly sensitive information as well as disrupt government operations. In order to keep up with the digital revolution, the public sector needs to scale up its systems to be able to access resources swiftly and securely.
While providing critical services to their citizens, governments face numerous challenges in adopting new technologies and keeping pace with rising threats, such as limited budgets. To address these challenges, public sector enterprises must adopt comprehensive, risk-based cybersecurity strategies instead of merely responding to cybersecurity incidents.
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting state and federal governments and attempting to hamper their administrative capabilities. Attacks have become progressively sophisticated and are being driven by broader motives. Governments are making significant investments in information technology to leverage the same efficiencies that power the private sector’s IT capabilities.
By adopting a federal cybersecurity framework, governments can obtain a strategic view of the cybersecurity risk lifecycle. This will enable the public sector to manage risk and improve the security and resilience of its critical infrastructure through globally-accepted best practices.
Often, the weakest link in a government’s IT security is its personnel. In order to provide employees with the skills that they need to protect themselves and the government against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, this sector must impart cybersecurity training to all its employees. It is critical to develop a cyber-literate government workforce in order to mitigate IT risks.
Governments should develop and implement strategies to protect their IT assets and data from cybersecurity threats and other disasters. They must focus on integrating cyber resilience into every operation to ensure that their networks can adapt, recover, and continue to operate in the event of a cyberattack. This will lead to the creation of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, a culture of IT innovation, new approaches for digital investment, and ultimately, long-term digital transformation.
The public sector must adopt a holistic approach to secure its data. The following best practices can help it achieve this goal:
- Personnel training and awareness
- Threat-centric orientation that extends beyond standard policies based on past events
- Pervasive internal monitoring
- Sharing of security intelligence within and between organizations
Cyber insurance is an asset that can help governments complement their cyber risk management process. Such insurance provides financial protection against cyber risks, and typically requires governments to meet certain cybersecurity standards, such as encrypting sensitive data, regularly training staff, and keeping servers up to date. Therefore, it indirectly compels government departments to follow strong cybersecurity practices and improve the overall health of their technology systems.
Governments must continuously make cybersecurity decisions that effectively respond to the challenges of growing IT populations, increasing interconnectivity, changing expectations of citizens, and the uncertainties of international cyberspace. Implementing a robust cybersecurity policy and framework can help the public sector meet these challenges and protect its IT systems, sensitive information, and ultimately, its sovereignty and citizens.