The specter of cybercrime is not one to be taken lightly. Attacks and data breaches happen every single day, costing cities untold amounts of money. The good news is that steps can be taken to prevent cybercrime, mitigate risk and reduce potential damage. Here are three steps every city government should take for cybersecurity.
Cybercrime is the term used to describe crimes that are committed through the use of computers and other digital devices. Cybercrime is a growing problem, particularly concerning the theft of financial information and identity theft.
Cybercrime is a global problem. As it becomes more lucrative, the threat of cybercrime increases. Theft of intellectual property and financial data are among the most common forms of cybercrime. The danger extends to public safety and national security as well. The main types of cybercrime include the following:
- Hacking – where hackers break into computers and networks. Hacking is a form of criminal activity that can lead to identity theft or even damage computer systems.
- Phishing – criminals send messages claiming to be from legitimate organizations to get personal information such as passwords, bank details, or social security numbers from unsuspecting victims. Phishing emails often come from bank websites or popular email addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo!
- Ransomware – where criminals encrypt victims’ files and then demand payment for the decryption key for users to get access back into their files again. Your files will be locked forever unless you pay up some money first.
- Malware – malware stands for malicious software, which can be anything from viruses and worms to spyware and ransomware. Malicious software is designed to damage or disrupt computer systems or networks without any intention of doing so by its creator. Here is how you can protect your city against cyberattacks.
1. Upgrading Its Network Architecture
The first step in protecting cybersecurity is to upgrade your network architecture. This includes upgrading your systems and devices, including servers, routers, and switches. It also includes ensuring that all your users use the latest software and patches.
You should also ensure that you have a good firewall in place that is hard-coded with your IP address range so that no one else can get into it. You should also ensure that the firewall is configured to block outbound connections on port 80, which most web traffic uses. If you plan to use a third-party solution like cloud storage services or social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, then you will probably need to ensure they’re secure.
2. Educate Employees about Cyberattacks
Employees are often the weakest link in a city’s cybersecurity. The human element is often not as ready to take action as the IT team, and training employees to prevent and respond to cyberattacks is essential.
Cybersecurity awareness training can be a great way to teach employees about the importance of security and help them understand how they can protect themselves from malicious actors. But it also gives them an opportunity to learn about the threats that affect their personal information, so they can make informed decisions about what steps they should take.
3. Restrict Remote Access to the Organization’s Networks
Restricting remote access to the organization’s networks can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. This is especially important for government agencies, as hackers often use it to access confidential data.
Using a few modern-day technologies, cities can proactively prepare themselves for an attack on their cyber infrastructure. While there is little cities can do to avoid an active attack from cyber criminals or state actors completely, these simple steps should ensure that cyberattacks will not impede cities as they continue to grow and modernize.