Many resource-constrained public sector organizations are ill-equipped to handle even common cyberattacks, lagging behind on techniques to properly patch, prevent, monitor, detect, and respond to threats that target them, according to DARKreading contributor Jonathan Couch, Senior VP of Strategy at ThreatQuotient.
“Implementing and managing a centralized approach in typically decentralized government structures is difficult due to the level of visibility and coordination required,” he says. Couch outlines steps to which these organizations can take to implement and manage a centralized approach to security:
(1) Establish security protocols that incorporate at least basics of the CIS Critical Security Controls
Couch argues that implementing these basic security controls will remove “most of the risk and deflect the large majority of attacks.” Organizations should also conduct patching, a critical control of vulnerability assessment and remediation, which requires minimal if any additional funding to implement.
(2) Address shortage of skilled security staff with automation and outsourcing
“Turning on auto-update capabilities for applications and systems can reduce the burden on security teams and make patching more timely,” he says. Organizations should also outsource services such as monitoring and audits to close the talent gap in protecting their systems.
Finally, governments should keep up with the commercial market and how it approaches security programs to properly secure digital assets and infrastructure. “Even baseline measures that require only minimal funding and retooling can go a long way toward answering the question ‘Is your cybersecurity adequate?’ with a resounding ‘Yes!,'” he concludes.