Cybersecurity: A Growing Concern for Public Entities

April 22, 2020

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Contrary to popular belief, Fortune 500 companies are not the only ones concerned with cybersecurity. Over the last few years, public entities have experienced numerous intentional cyber attacks.

For instance, the City College of San Francisco discovered a computer virus had attached itself to its server and went undetected for 10 years, exposing personal information of as many as 100,000 students and faculty members. Just this spring, CNBC recently reported a sobering story about European hackers who blackmailed police departments across the U.S. with “ransomware,” viruses that encrypt and take system files hostage until the victim pays a ransom to unlock the system.

Data by the minute

Here’s a breakdown of just how much data is generated every minute:

  • 3.5 million text messages sent in the U.S. alone
  • 99,206 requests answered by Siri
  • 69,500,000 words translated by Google
  • 9,678 emoji-filled tweets on Twitter

Source: Domo

These experiences indicate that no one is immune to cyber threats and data breaches. Just like for-profit corporations, public sector institutions are impacted financially, operationally, and legally–not to mention the residual reputational damage suffered upon news of the breach getting out. Network security is no longer a technological issue we can pass to the IT department; instead, it has become an enterprise-wide risk management concern.

What, then, can your organization do to better protect itself? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Buying new equipment or software is not always the answer to the problem.
  • A strong intrusion detection system is great for external attacks, but internal physical or personnel controls are also necessary to prevent an accidental or intentional data breach from within.
  • It is imperative for every organization to complete a full risk assessment to determine vulnerabilities and their level of exposure. In addition to identifying exposures and implementing controls, this risk assessment will allow you to allocate financial resources where they are needed most.

Paragon Can Help

Keeping up with cyber security threats can be exhausting, and chasing trends (guarding against a named threat) costly. But not protecting your organization against cyber breaches can cost a lot more. Check out the following tools we have created to help you safeguard your organization.

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