Why State and Local Governments Need Proactive Data Storage Solutions to Combat Cyber Threats
How effective are the cybersecurity defenses currently used by state and local governments? Consider it a matter of public safety. The complexities of the threat landscape are here to stay, highlighting the need for the right security tools to stop attacks. With the rise of ransomware attacks, limited budgets for upgrading cybersecurity systems, and staffing shortages, small government organizations have emerged as attractive targets for cybercriminals. State and local entities host an abundance of personally identifiable information (PII) that is not only at risk of being held ransom, but also can be further exploited to target individuals. Plus, any disruption to critical services has far-reaching impacts for the communities these governments serve.
In order to safeguard data and prevent service interruptions, state and local governments must have proactive security controls in place to quickly mitigate attacks and restore services as soon as possible. Cyberstorage combines data storage and security for protection against ransomware and other attacks. These solutions enable organizations to fight back against threats with real-time network visibility and automated active defense capabilities – both of which are critical components to protecting data from opportunistic cybercriminals.
The importance of modernizing cybersecurity systems
Cyber threats against state and local governments are nothing new, considering attackers are aware of IT budgetary constraints that may keep agencies vulnerable. Reactionary payments to minimize critical service interruptions increase the likelihood that a ransom will be paid. As disruptive as recovering from ransomware already is, agencies have to contend with stolen data being publicly released, further damaging their credibility in the wake of an attack.
While thousands of municipal and state government agencies have been targeted with ransomware over the past few years, there’s still a lack of visibility into exactly how widespread the problem has become. Most states do not have mandatory reporting requirements for cyberattacks. Meaning when cybercriminals strike several public departments at once, the agencies may not be sharing that intelligence. For example, in 2019, nearly two dozen cities across Texas were targeted at the same time, but many of those governments didn’t know about the other attacks. Some states are modernizing their reporting requirements, which will enable governments to unify their approaches to responding proactively to attacks. However, new mandates that require all cyber incidents in government agencies to be reported to the state or attorney general’s office may challenge compliance procedures due to ambiguity. Some state laws only require reporting of “qualified” incidents, so ransomware attacks without a release of PII may not need to be reported.
Stopping attacks with cyberstorage solutions
With the high risks of critical services being disabled and the possibility for cyberattacks to proliferate once hackers have breached their networks, state and local governments need systems in place that enable cyber resiliency so they can maintain operations and deliver critical services to their citizens. State and local governments can effectively protect themselves with cyberstorage solutions like RackTop’s BrickStor SP.
BrickStor SP actively defends against ransomware attacks and other data breaches through a data-centric zero trust architecture that secures PII, sensitive documents, and video from all parts of the government. State and local governments often need to protect records and files that include sensitive data such as police evidence and informants, building security plans, financial information and personnel records. In the event of a breach, cyberstorage provides visibility into unauthorized data use and enables governments to know which data was impacted, ensuring streamlined compliance with reporting requirements. BrickStor SP encrypts all data, offers user behavior auditing for consistent records, and is scalable for government agencies of any size so they will be prepared for future security challenges.