Cyber security has become a pressing concern for organisations across all sectors, and the public sector is no exception. With governments and public services increasingly reliant on technology, it is crucial to prioritise cyber resilience to protect sensitive information and ensure the smooth functioning of essential services.
In this blog, we will explore the key elements of public sector cyber security and provide a comprehensive guide to building cyber resilience.
Understanding the Threat Landscape
The impact of cyber attacks on public sector organisations can be devastating. In 2022, Britian was named the ‘cyber attack capital of Europe’. According to The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) 2022 annual review, cyber security threats have significantly evolved, with businesses across the UK having reported hundreds of cyber incidents to the NCSC.
The first step towards cyber resilience is understanding the ever-evolving threat landscape. Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and malicious cyber criminals are continuously finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities. Public sector organisations need to be aware of the potential risks and adapt their security measures accordingly.
Developing a Robust Security Strategy
A robust security strategy is essential to protect public sector organisations from cyber threats.
Here are some key elements to consider:
- Risk Assessment: Identify and prioritise potential risks and vulnerabilities within your organisation. This could include outdated software, weak passwords, or insufficient employee training.
- Establishing Policies and Procedures: Develop clear policies and procedures that govern how data is secured and accessed. Ensure that these policies are communicated effectively to all employees and regularly reviewed and updated.
- Implementing Access Controls: Enforce strong authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to control access to sensitive data and systems. This can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access.
- Secure Network Infrastructure: Regularly update and patch software, firewalls, and network devices to protect against known vulnerabilities. Implement intrusion detection and prevention systems to monitor for any malicious activity.
- Digital Transformation: Using/moving over to modern cloud-based technology can help to enhance cyber security due to it’s continuous updates. Using outdated technology can run the risk of minimal or discontinued updates, leaving software and systems more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- Training and Awareness: Educate employees about the importance of cyber security and provide regular training to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Incident Response and Recovery
Despite the best preventive measures, cyber incidents can still occur. Having a robust incident response and recovery plan is crucial to minimise damage and quickly restore services. Here are some key steps to consider:
- Preparation: Develop an incident response plan that outlines roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and steps to be taken in case of a cyber incident. Regularly test and update the plan to ensure its effectiveness and identify any issues within the plan, as well as discovering employees who may need additional cyber security training.
- Detection and Containment: Implement tools and processes to detect and contain cyber incidents as early as possible. This could include effective monitoring systems, threat intelligence sharing, and response coordination.
- Investigation and Recovery: Conduct thorough investigations to understand the scope and impact of the incident. Take necessary actions to recover systems, data, and services. Learn from the incident to strengthen future security measures.
- Communication and Reporting: Establish clear communication channels to keep any stakeholders informed about an incident and its impact. Promptly report incidents to the appropriate authorities as required by law.
Continuous Improvement and Adaptation
Cyber threats are continually evolving, so it is crucial to continually improve and adapt your cyber security measures. Stay updated with the latest security technologies, trends, and best practices. Regularly assess and test your security controls to identify any weaknesses and address them promptly.
Three Pillar Security Services from 848
Cyber resilience is a vital aspect of public sector cyber security. By understanding the threat landscape, developing a robust security strategy, collaborating with stakeholders, and having an effective incident response and recovery plan, public sector organisations can enhance their ability to withstand and recover from cyber attacks.
At 848, our security strategies are built on the three pillars of cyber security: People, Process, and Technology. Each pillar is equally as important – and critical in keeping your business secure in a complex threat landscape.
If you’re in need of a strong security strategy, get in touch with a member of our team today to see how we can help you address all three pillars of cyber security. Protect your business from every angle.
We have a dedicated security practice and experienced team of complex security specialists to deploy and improve your security strategy, develop your IT landscape and improve your security skills.
Together, we can make your public sector organisation resilient to cyber attacks and safeguard your critical services.