COVID-19 has upset business as usual for the American economy, and businesses have hemorrhaged jobs over the last year to compensate for COVID-19’s impact. But governments are among those that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. State and local governments lost close to 1,000,000 jobs in 2020. Governments need a way to reverse this trend and emerge stronger in 2021.
As Avenu’s CEO, Paul Colangelo, writes in his latest op-ed for Forbes, automation can empower state and local governments to meet the challenges of the pandemic head-on. With automation, governments can save jobs, streamline their workflow, unlock hidden revenue and regain lost efficiency.
But state and local governments will need to make sure their ready to automate their operations. A comprehensive data audit and updates to their IT infrastructure, as well as new employee training programs, may all be necessary to make an automation effort a success.
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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.