10 Steps to Strengthen Government Cyber Security

0
215

Government agencies and our nation’s critical infrastructure rely on secure, trusted technology, but digital threats continue to compromise these systems and cause costly damage.

To gain better insight into their threat landscapes, agencies must increase cybersecurity best practices; advance towards Zero Trust Architecture quickly; and enhance their ability to detect vulnerabilities or incidents on their networks.

1. Invest in Cybersecurity

Cyber threats continue to disrupt critical systems and compromise national security, so investing in cybersecurity is important.

This means ensuring the necessary policies and structures are put in place to safeguard business data, while training employees on how to avoid common cybersecurity mistakes. Human error accounts for most data breaches; so making your employees aware of potential dangers is vital for keeping data safe.

The Strategy emphasizes the need for enhanced public-private collaboration and an improved, whole-of-government response to cyber incidents, with increased real-time information sharing as well as federal resources allocated specifically for critical infrastructure companies resisting attacks from nation-state adversaries. Reputational pressures may also provide effective incentives for strengthening cyber defenses; such pressure could include the negative repercussions associated with data breaches for shareholders and customers.

2. Create a Culture of Security

Every day, federal agencies face thousands of cyberattacks from phishing emails to more sophisticated attacks against our most sensitive data. Hackers want this data.

To achieve their missions successfully, agencies must prioritize cybersecurity across their organization. That means creating a culture of security which requires all employees to engage in secure behaviors – starting with consistent policies outlined expectations of employee behavior that must be communicated during onboarding training as well as ongoing phishing testing education and incident response activities.

Department leaders must lead by example and advocate for the adoption of these policies, supporting staff as they comply and holding them accountable for compliance. A strong culture of security will help strengthen government cyber security by making it harder for hackers to breach systems.

3. Re-evaluate Your IT Strategy

Government agencies are an easy target for cyberattacks because they hold sensitive information, including citizen data and critical infrastructure. Furthermore, nation-state cyber threat actors or hacktivists with political motives frequently target these institutions.

Protecting against these threats requires taking a more strategic approach to cybersecurity, with integrated security architectures that offer improved threat detection and response systems – helping reduce data breaches or any other harmful cyberattacks that might threaten data.

Increased information sharing between government and private sector professionals is another effective strategy, helping ensure everyone has access to the latest cyber threat intelligence and can react swiftly. Furthermore, sharing will strengthen collaboration and foster innovation within the federal cybersecurity community.

4. Invest in a Security Operations Center

Security Operations Centers are essential components of any robust cybersecurity strategy. These centralized functions serve as the hub for businesses’ monitoring and detection efforts, gathering telemetry from all parts of their networks.

SOC teams are responsible for reviewing alerts, dismissing false positives and investigating genuine ones, as well as analyzing attack vectors, reducing attack surface area and monitoring and responding to incidents.

SOC teams face daily difficulties balancing daily responsibilities with keeping up with new cybersecurity technologies and threats, leading to high costs and staff burnout. A managed SOC (SOCaaS) provider can assist by offering expert staff augmentation, cutting-edge cyberthreat intelligence, and cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies; so that your SOC team can focus on prioritizing threats and incidents to effectively prevent and minimize cyberattacks.

5. Develop a Plan for Incident Response

State governments are frequently targeted by hackers for various reasons. From holding on to valuable personal data and hosting critical infrastructure to acting as conduits for national security systems, hackers exploit state government systems in order to disrupt operations and steal data.

Develop an Incident Response Plan is essential in preventing and responding to cyber incidents. With an effective IR plan in place, your team can prepare themselves to detect threats; eliminate and contain them; recover from an incident quickly; mitigate its impacts; and recover more easily afterwards.

An effective IR plan should be tested and revised periodically to account for changing threats and IT infrastructure, and be included as part of employee training programs so they can act swiftly during an incident. CrowdStrike provides an effective IR solution that can help your organization create an effective plan.

6. Re-evaluate Your Security Policy

Government entities rely heavily on their information security policies to keep their systems safe. These should reflect best practices while meeting each organization’s individual requirements.

Given the rapid pace of technological development, all organizational policies should be reviewed regularly – at minimum annually or more frequently depending on your organization’s specifics.

Federal agencies house an abundance of sensitive data that hackers would love to gain access to, from individual citizen records and national security secrets. Securing these assets presents an enormous challenge.

Effective cybersecurity services can protect against even the most dangerous cyberattacks. Find a company that provides comprehensive protection that can lower risks associated with data breaches or disruption to critical functions – learn more about our government security solutions here.

7. Re-evaluate Your Network Security

Security for government agencies is of utmost importance, as it protects sensitive data against being breached or disrupted by hackers and cyber threats that could result in data breach or other disruptive attacks.

Network security solutions may include multifactor authentication (MFA), which uses two or more factors to verify user identity, as well as network segmentation – enabling agencies to split large, complex networks into smaller, manageable segments that are easier to protect.

Network security encompasses more than malware detection and removal; it includes web browsing policies, egress filtering and outbound traffic proxies; cloud security services protect data hosted on external services like infrastructure as a service and software as a service; these solutions may help limit lateral movement by attackers once they gain a foothold within your network.

8. Re-evaluate Your Data Security

Data security encompasses any of the cybersecurity practices designed to safeguard sensitive information against unauthorised access, including encryption and access restrictions (both physical and digital). This can range from making sure only necessary users have access to it to making sure its protection in transit and at rest cannot be breached by hackers.

Authentication is another key aspect of data security. This process ensures that people are who they say they are before gaining access to any sensitive data, using techniques like passwords, security tokens, swipe cards or biometrics.

Good data security involves having multiple copies of your data stored for protection in case of disaster or breach, whether that means using cloud storage, physical disks or third-party devices with appropriate safeguards.

9. Re-evaluate Your Backup Policy

Backups are an integral component of your cybersecurity strategy, safeguarding you against the devastating repercussions of permanent data loss caused by events such as cyberattacks, hardware malfunctions and natural disasters.

A successful backup policy typically follows the 3-2-1 backup rule: create one full and two copies of each backup, store them on different types of media and keep one offsite copy of each. However, an effective BDR strategy goes far beyond just backups.

Spanning’s backup solution features 256-bit AES object-level encryption to safeguard Google Workspace, Salesforce and Microsoft 365 data backups – an extra layer of protection not offered by other solutions.

10. Re-evaluate Your Security Training

Human firewalls are an essential element of any successful cybersecurity system, given how cyberattacks rely on people. Therefore, investing in security awareness training to inform employees about their role in maintaining cybersecurity is vitally important.

Make training engaging and enjoyable by keeping it fresh, engaging, and stimulating. Company meetings and seminars can often become tedious affairs; keeping everyone’s interest through showing amusing (yet current) videos or sharing unique security-related stories will keep everyone attentive.

Keep your employees up-to-date on their roles in protecting against cyberattacks to lower the likelihood of data breaches and critical systems compromises. Re-evaluate security training regularly to make sure it remains current, improving upon existing standards while upholding them for maximum public protection.