Spring semester has definitely not gone according to plan for colleges and universities. While most institutions had some form or remote work and online instruction prior to the COVID-19 crisis, with the entire campus now virtual how do IT leaders ensure that it is secure?
With the remote workforce skyrocketing in recent months, one critical element that government agencies have top-of-mind right now is data security. It’s already challenging enough to keep public sector data secure when everyone is working in the office, but with more agencies enabling work from home; with more people working from disparate and likely less secure networks, this risk compounds. So now, as the public sector flocks more fervently than ever to the cloud to accommodate remote workers, IT decision makers are finding themselves ready to make the leap and properly optimize their cloud-powered data security approach.
That said, the process of securing sensitive public sector data can be daunting and many agencies aren’t sure how to jumpstart the process. In an effort to take the guesswork out of this process and streamline the adoption of more innovative and secure IT infrastructure across government agencies, a new how-to guide from Infor directly outlines the 10 steps public sector agencies should take to secure their data.
The first three steps in this guide, while not as technically focused as the others, are important first steps for any agency looking seriously at their data security and mitigating cyber threats:
- Accept that small organizations face big risks – “The first step to building a cybersecure organization is to realize you’re at risk. For several years now, it’s been a rule of thumb among data security specialists that if you think your organization is impervious to attack—that’s the first indication that you’re vulnerable.”
- Realize you’re not alone – “The list of the top 10 data breaches hitting U.S. state and local governments shows that hackers aren’t the only problem. ‘Some of the biggest and most significant government data breaches come down to human error: from lost hard drives, misconfigured databases, and physical device theft to simple mistakes that lead to millions upon millions of leaked Social Security numbers, names, addresses, voting affiliations, and other sensitive data,’ Digital Guardian reported in 2018. ‘Adding insult to injury, U.S. taxpayers usually end up footing the bill for the aftermath, including years of free identity theft and credit monitoring for the victims.’”
- Modernize your software to keep up with today’s cybersecurity needs – “Postponing cybersecurity planning is a mistake, but it’s easy to understand how it happens. It costs money and changing something as fundamental as the way your organization protects its IT systems soaks up valuable time. But it costs far more to keep operating vulnerable legacy systems.”
In times like these, security of all kinds is critical, including data security. The ability to mitigate cyberthreats and reallocate those resources where they are more stretched is invaluable and should be a best practice carried forward as the public sector continues to modernize their IT approach.
You can find all 10 steps to keeping your public sector data secure here: https://www.infor.com/resources/10-steps-to-public-sector-data-security