Industry Insight: 8 ways local governments can enhance security while working remotely

In a May article published on GCN, director of information technology Roger Murphy explains how local government agencies can identify and address security vulnerabilities that could lead to attacks in a remote work environment.

Recent events have accelerated a transformation toward digital document storage, online and mobile services and automated services. However, digitalization opens up new opportunities to hackers and criminals looking to access private information. This month, The Wall Street Journal published an article explaining how hackers are “changing their ransomware tactics to exploit the coronavirus crisis,” especially among organizations that need their “data back right away to operate.”

Local governments should consider ransomware attacks a “when” not “if” scenario. Everyone on the team needs cybersecurity training and access to enhanced security tools to combat these new threats. Read more at GCN.com.


Cyber Security Threats Abound in Public Sector

Over the past two years, hackers have attacked local government agencies more than 184 times, disabling systems for hours and sometimes days. Recently, Atlanta and Baltimore were hit with ransomware attacks that crippled their online and administrative systems. More than a week after the cyberattacks, officials still are working through the setbacks caused by the shutdown of their digital processes and services.

As cities and counties become more dependent on their IT infrastructure to manage their data and daily operations, cybersecurity must be a priority that starts with the budgeting process.

How much discussion occurred last year about cybersecurity during your planning? Funding needs to cover not only hard costs, such as software, but also soft expenses, such as training. Here’s why.

Our cybersecurity experts point to software vulnerabilities as a leading cause of attacks like ransomware, and there are ongoing costs for the subscriptions and other services that distribute security updates and prevent attacks. However, it’s often the human factor that allows public agencies to fall victim to these attacks when an unsuspecting staff member clicks on a bad link or downloads a “malware” file.

At Avenu we have access to sensitive information for municipal clients across the nation, so we place a high priority on security. We have developed a series of best practices around our “detection, prevention and recovery” strategy to stay ahead of threats. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about it.