Municipal entities are responsible for storing personal records of citizens. Birth certificates, mortgage documents, medical records and Social Security numbers are just some of the sensitive data they collect and store. Citizens rely on municipal organizations to keep their data private and protected, which cannot be accomplished without a proper cybersecurity program.
According to CIO, the vast majority of public agencies lack a clear cybersecurity plan. This is troubling when you think about the amount of personal data hackers could steal. There are several factors that cause a lack of sufficient cybersecurity programs in municipal organizations. Here are a few:
Lack of training.
Employees of municipal organizations need to be trained to follow the best cybersecurity practices. Many public-sector IT directors and CIOs simply don’t have the knowledge, training or background to plan and deliver acceptable cybersecurity programs. In fact, they’re often unaware of best practices and frameworks that are readily available, so their cybersecurity planning efforts often fall short, according to CIO. To make matters worse, the majority of municipal organizations around the country today still do not have a designated Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
Lack of budget.
For many municipal organizations, there simply isn’t enough budget dedicated to cybersecurity. An effective cybersecurity strategy needs to be a high priority for all municipal organizations when planning the budget each year. While a robust cybersecurity program will cost money, it doesn’t have to bust the budget.