Cybersecurity is not only a concern for the federal government or large corporations. As the holders of sensitive information and the provider of essential human services, state and local governments should be concerned about cybersecurity as well. In fact, a recent study by the Center for Digital Government estimates that government agencies have lost more than 94 million citizens’ records since 2009, and that each lost record represents a cost of $194.
Cyber-attacks continue advancing in their sophistication and have morphed from simple viruses and phishing scams to advanced threats that are not easily detected. With traditional defenses becoming obsolete and the threat of cyber-attacks growing, state and local governments require new methods of preventing, protecting against, and planning for cyber-incidents. As your government evaluates its cybersecurity needs, Baker Tilly state and local government consultants recommend taking the following actions in the near term:
State and local governments are more than just guardians of citizen and employee data. From municipalities and school districts to utilities and transit authorities, these organizations provide vital services that keep criminals off the street, ensure the delivery of potable water to every home, and educate the next generation. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are an evolving threat with which every local government will ultimately contend. Implementing the protective measures outlined in this article can be a first step in reducing the risk of a cybersecurity incident and protecting the citizens who rely on these services.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly state and local government specialists can help, contact our team.
 Center for Digital Government. “Advanced Cyber Threats in State and Local Government”. January 2014.