How a Third-Party Partner Can Help Your Government Agency Stay Protected from Cyberattacks
As if the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic were not enough, a looming “cyber pandemic” could completely crash everything. If that happens on a wide scale, it could literally put lives at risk. Given the urgency, the time is time now to implement cybersecurity risk mitigation and disaster planning sooner than later.
Government agencies need to be prepared for a global cyberattack, but how? Relying on in-house IT staff alone may not be enough. Fortunately, collaboration with third-party technology partners can help government agencies protect their cyber assets.
Cybersecurity Areas of Vulnerability for Governmental Agencies
Federal, state, and local governmental agencies all have tremendous challenges ahead when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are just a few areas of vulnerability:
State and Local Governments May Be Most at Risk
The problem with cybersecurity is that a hack is a hack, no matter how big or small the organization. And that same sophisticated cyberattack that can take out a federal network is most certainly able to take out a local government as well. Local jurisdictions in particular may be budget-strapped and short on key staff. This is where third-party cyber support can be particularly helpful.
The Aging Grid is Not Only a Problem, It’s a Cybersecurity Threat
As the federal government pushes forward with plans to move off of fossil fuels, the already strained U.S. electric grid sorely needs an upgrade. The problem is, many of the most important strategic assets in the country, such as water treatment systems, electrical grids, and police forces, are managed on the state and local level, where budget and staff issues may be a challenge.
Mix and Match Software and Legacy Systems Are Cybersecurity Risks
Sometimes government moves at a snail’s pace. This might not be so much of a problem for certain functions where changing things up quickly could cause more problems than it solves. But when it comes to technology, moving slowly could truly result in catastrophe.
The problem is, migrating from legacy systems or disconnected software solutions takes time and energy. And full time staff are often short on “bandwidth” as it is. These old systems are major cybersecurity risks, and a third-party expert team can help make the upgrades and migrations happen sooner and more efficiently.
Printers Can Be Extremely Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Printers and MFPs that do double and triple-duty as copiers and fax machines can be especially vulnerable to network cyberattacks. Hacked printers can be hijacked to print unwanted messages or be used as a gateway to the rest of the internal network. Secure remote printer monitoring software managed by third-party professionals can help mitigate these threats.
Steps Government Agencies Can Take to Improve Cybersecurity and Preparedness
Government agencies can take a number of proactive steps to improve their cybersecurity posture. Some of these steps include:
- Increasing cross-functional, interagency, and cross-sector collaboration to share best practices and solutions across teams and agencies and between government and business.
- Recruiting and training top technical talent to drive innovation and solution engineering within governmental agencies.
- Hiring the best third-party cybersecurity vendors to fill in any gaps and lead enterprise-level cybersecurity implementations that can’t be accomplishment with in-house staff alone.
Governmental agencies need to be both nimble and flexible when it comes to meeting future cybersecurity challenges, and part of that flexibility can be achieved by having third-party support offering some of the most advanced technological solutions.
Of course, each third-party team needs to be vetted for competency, but some governmental agencies, such as the federal Department of Defense, already require robust certification of IT vendors that can often exceed requirements for employees.
Getting Started With Third-Party Help for Government Cybersecurity
In many cases, government contractors need to go through a formal RFP process in order to work for a government agency. However, depending on the size and scope of your agency, it may actually be quicker to hire a government contractor as opposed to dealing with all the HR challenges of adding new staff positions. In interviewing third-party vendors, agency managers need to look for established companies that have proven their value in managing cybersecurity for government.
At Tonerwise, we have extensive experience providing comprehensive print management solutions with robust cybersecurity for both businesses and governmental entities. Contact us for more information.
Tonerwise is a provider of planet positive ink and toner with experiencing managing print services for government agencies through secure remote printer monitoring software. Contact us for a consultation.