The public sector is facing an increasing number of cyber-attacks. Discover 7 best practices to protect your information system.
The public sector has little protection against cyber risks and faces increasing cyber-attacks. Securing your information system — sensitive data — is a priority for government agencies and public organizations. Here are 7 best practices you can follow to protect your information system (IS) effectively. Follow the guide!
The public sector, a particularly vulnerable space
All sectors are affected by the rise in cybercrime, but the public sector is particularly vulnerable. The Threat Landscape 2022 report published by ENISA shows that from July 2021 to July 2022, public administrations will account for 24% of cyber-attack victims. This is due to budget restrictions, public bodies’ processing of sensitive data, and, above all, the lack of cybersecurity protection measures in this sector. Many public bodies need to put more resources in place to deal with cyber threats and are becoming prime targets for cybercriminals.
7 measures to effectively protect your information system.
Protecting information systems is a top priority for public sector organizations. But the will to do so isn’t enough, and everyone needs to know some best practices.
#1 Training and raising staff awareness
Raising awareness and training staff is one of the first steps in ensuring IS security. Most public sector professionals are not cybersecurity specialists. They need to be made aware of cyber risks and trained in best practices to limit them. It is a good idea to:
- False phishing campaigns;
- Establish a regular password rotation for all employees;
- Define a process for reporting security incidents;
- Provide regular training to familiarize staff with new security threats and practices;
#2 Establish security policies
Defining sound security policies is essential to safeguarding your information systems. These policies must include precise guidelines on using devices and systems, access to sensitive data, and password management. They must also specify the measures to be taken during a security incident and be regularly updated to reflect new threats and the latest practices.
#3 Protect sensitive data
Public-sector bodies are often called upon to process a great deal of sensitive citizen data. To limit the risks and consequences of intrusions, you need to prioritize protection. It is advisable to:
- Restrict access to sensitive data to a limited number of employees following the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP);
- Make regular backups and test their restoration to ensure data recovery during an incident;
- Use encryption to protect confidential information stored and in transit.
#4 Update regularly
Many vulnerabilities stem from information systems needing to be regularly updated. All systems, software, and devices need to be periodically updated with the latest security patches to limit risks.
#5 Ensure continuous monitoring and response to incidents
Constant monitoring of the information system is essential to detect suspicious activity and react rapidly in the event of an incident. Various means must be put in place to prevent and manage security problems effectively: intrusion detection tools, audit logs, monitoring of new cyber threats, and security processes in the event of an attack… Surrounding yourself with a professional cybersecurity partner is highly recommended for public organizations.
#6 Performing pentests
Effective information system security also requires the implementation of pentests. These security audits identify potential IS vulnerabilities at a given time so they can be corrected before a cybercriminal exploits them.
#7 Set up a Bug Bounty program
Bug Bounty is an in-depth vulnerability-hunting program. The principle is simple: security researchers monitor an information system for potential vulnerabilities. This proactive measure enables public bodies to protect their IS on an ongoing basis, thanks to the ongoing watch of cybersecurity experts. Researchers are remunerated according to the criticality of the vulnerabilities found: no results, no expenses!
Read also: Bug Bounty, why and how to get started?
Yogosha is an Offensive Security platform that helps public bodies protect their information systems through Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) and Bug Bounty programs.
Our dedicated platform enables you to centralize and manage your security testing strategy and identify critical vulnerabilities, thanks to the security experts of the Yogosha Strike Force (YSF).
Public bodies are prime targets for cybercriminals. Don’t wait to be attacked; strengthen your security now. Contact us!