All governments, whether it is a state or local have possession of valuable data. Their data or information assets include civilian’s private information like and credit card numbers and social security numbers. Because of the collection of such vital and highly classified data, Government portals are often targeted by cybercriminals. Governments have to adopt such IT policies and standards programs that offer a great structure and support for managing technologies, maintaining instructions, and achieving targeted goals. Moreover, they need to assist government employees the importance of EV SSL certificate on the web portal and how they can reduce the cyber attacks to prevent security breaches.
A major website security concerns of municipal governments
Municipal Governments are more close to the public that the federal or state governments as they deliver the vital services directly to the public. Thus, the data of municipal governments are more like breached than the others. Municipal governments have a few security concerns that are described below:
Malwares are malicious codes that are designed by the cybercriminals to pose a threat to the personal computers, server or network or electronic devices. They usually include ransomware, spyware, Viruses, and adware. Malware can crash the computer or even can use the computer as a server or host to broadcast diverse files or attacks.
- Phishing Attacks
Phishing is just a way to deliver malware to the personal computer or a network. Hackers use different ways of phishing, however, the primary aim of phishing attacks is to trick the internet users for installing malware onto their computers or mobile devices unwittingly. Usually, the malwares are delivered through emails, pop-up ads, mobile messages, and social media sharing.
- Spear Phishing
Spear phishing is done to steal sensitive information from a particular victim. Hackers most often create an email in a form that looks like it has delivered by a coworker, friend or service provider and people give them their asked information. In this way, they become a victim of a cyber attack.
- Lost or stolen devices
Sometimes, people lose their laptop while traveling or their devices get stolen by thieves. This scenario becomes worse when the sensitive data is stored on the device and the device does not have adequate security measures like face reorganization login process or have restricted access to the device. In such cases, there are more chances of data breaching.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DoS)
Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks make the web-based service like an online payment portal unavailable to its user by overloading huge traffic to a government web portal. This attack is not easy to trace, but also very difficult to handle as the multiple attackers are being used against the target.
Web Security Solutions for Government Agencies
A major web protection can be provided while designing a government portal or launching a web portal to the Internet. Because the web developers and designers know well which part of the portal needs high-security measures. A few best security solutions for government websites are rationalized below:
1. Educate The Government Employees Regarding Risk And Security Measures
The government should organize some security awareness program and annual security course for their employees to make aware them about cyber security threats and how to deal with it on their end. Moreover, they should develop some policies and guidelines for employees so that they can work online while ensuring the vulnerable data or information is secure and safe.
2. Use Strong Passwords
It is vital to use a strong password to log in any employee account on the government website. Moreover, a strong password must be used for the server as well so that nobody can interrupt the data. Each password should integrate with numeric, special character and alphabets in Upper and lower case. It should be more than eight characters long.
3. Encrypt Sensitive Data
Protecting the user’s privacy is the primary responsibility of a government organization and most of the online digital government agencies use an EV SSL to ensure customers’ privacy. It builds customers trust as the website has passed from strict authentication factors. The address bar turns into green color and has an ock sign on the left side when the website is secured with an EV SSL certificate. Most financial institutions like banks use this security lock on their website to encrypt the data that is transmitted between a financial institutions’ web portal and a web user.
4. Keep Software Up To Date
Whether it is software or an operating system; ensure updating it on a regular basis so that you can prevent your website or a server from cyber attacks. It is considered that when hackers find holes in a governmental digital web portal’s software, there is more likely to abuse it. Managing a web hosting solution is practiced on diverse websites for security updates for the operating system as the hosting company usually takes care of this and updates the web server and website on a regular basis.
5. Keep Data Backups
There are 0.99% chances that a secured government web portal can be hacked, but when it unfortunately happens, you must have a data backup in your hand, especially for the government sites because they have tons of public data on their web server. Thus, having website backups is vital for recovering the website from a major security confrontation. Backup should not be stored on the web server as it is quite vulnerable to attack, it must store anywhere else from a web server. Moreover, the backup should be automatic.
6. Use A Layered Defense System On The Web Network
You can use firewalls, web content filtering, intrusion prevention, and email content filtering software on a website to take some extra security measures.
Cybersecurity has become the primary cause of concern for government organizations as they are targeted more than other sites. By educating the government employees through the security awareness program and tanning program, they can prevent the public vulnerable data from being hacked.