Since cybercrime is a global issue, cities must consider cybersecurity. Cities like Singapore, London, and Paris have been hacked in the past few years, so it only makes sense for city officials to stay informed and aware of what’s happening. Cyber attacks are more than just having your bank account stolen or being on the receiving end of a phishing email scam. In many cases, they can disrupt city services like water and power, potentially disastrously.
1. Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Training employees to be aware of cyber threats is an excellent first step in maintaining a safe city. City governments can have their employees undergo three-hour training provided by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). The course is free and covers the basics of how cyber attacks work and how to identify and prevent them from happening.
2. Use Technology that Allows for Quick Detection
The more quickly you can detect an attack, the better off you will be. You will have time to respond before the damage is done. Cisco Security Intelligence Operations Manager offers a customizable solution that monitors network traffic to detect unusual activity. It also has an alerting function that can warn you of an attack in progress, such as ransomware.
3. Continuously Monitor Your Systems
Once the CIS training is available, the next step is continuously monitoring your city’s systems for activity and attacks. A free app for Android users is called Cylanceprotect. It’s easy to use and alerts you if your system is vulnerable.
4. Implement Security Policies
With the CIS training, employees are trained to be on guard against cyber threats and quickly recognize them. However, implementing a security policy can increase their awareness even more. It will also show them you are serious about maintaining the city’s cybersecurity.
5. Implement a Cyber Incident Response Plan
Creating a response plan is essential if you want to be prepared for an attack. It includes figuring out who will respond, what they will do, and how long it will take. The response should include how it will release information to the press and citizens, as well as how it will communicate with crucial city employees in the event of a cyber attack or another event that disrupts communications.
6. Use the Cloud
Cloud-based services are becoming increasingly popular and can help protect your city’s cybersecurity. The cloud is safer because there is less to worry about than a physically-based server. A cloud-based system stores information remotely via the internet, so it’s more difficult for hackers to access information like physical servers.
City leaders should consider these steps to ensure their cities are safe from cyber criminals. Cyber attacks can be disastrous, and there’s no need for that if city officials have already done the work to ensure their cybersecurity is up to par. They have enough on their plate with issues like government transparency and affordable housing, but there’s no reason their citizens should have to worry about their city being hacked on the job. City leaders are the ones who can make sure that doesn’t happen.