Cybersecurity Tips for Municipalities

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Local governments are starting to become more aware of municipal cybersecurity risks. Municipalities collect data from a wide range of sources, including individual citizens, businesses, organizations, and other municipalities. Balancing the responsibility to keep information secure and granting people access to the information they require is a common challenge among municipalities. In this article, we will explore some of the cybersecurity risks for municipalities, how an external user manager can help, and then provide tips for municipalities.


Cybersecurity Risks for Municipalities

Municipalities are considered a prime target for cyberattacks or breaches because of the quantity and quality of information being collected. These are the most common causes of municipal cybersecurity attacks or breaches.

Limited Resources

Municipal governments have restricted budgets and allocating them is not taken lightly. For smaller municipalities, often they do not believe they will be a target because of their size, so they do not invest in proper preventative measures. This approach leaves municipal governments and their constituents at risk of large data breaches.

Hackers and ransomware attacks do not discriminate when it comes to the size of the municipality. Smaller municipalities are sometimes seen as the ideal target because they have poor cybersecurity practices and are often connected to other larger municipalities. This provides unauthorized access to multiple municipalities’ information.

Highly Targeted for Ransomware

The information that municipalities collect is a highly sought-after target for hackers. However, municipalities are also an essential service that has a significant impact on residents if shut down. Hackers will target municipalities not only for resident's information but also to create a shutdown. The loss of data and interruption of essential services can have a lasting impact on communities and create distrust among residents.

Diverse and Aging Infrastructure

Digital record keeping and information sharing have been important for government efficiency. However, the move towards digital software has been done in phases as new technology is released. With multiple systems in place, there is a mixture of new and old technologies, all with different levels of vulnerability.


How A User Manager Can Help

An external user manager can help address municipal cybersecurity risks and maintain communication channels. A secure guest and external user manager will limit unauthorized access and help you mitigate cybersecurity risks while maintaining the ability for digital collaboration.

Centralized Access Management

Unifying and creating policies for your access management is a crucial step for municipal cybersecurity. With disjointed access management, it is easier for hackers to gain access to your systems. With centralized access management within a secure platform, your government can keep track of access management and prevent hackers from sneaking in. This will also simplify operations and ensure, even if someone leaves your organization, that you always have the ability to manage internal and external user permissions.

Despite centralizing your access management, with Extranet User Manager, your team can delegate access management to allow multiple team members to manage user groups. This frees up time from IT and allows your team to manage appropriate user groups.

Enhanced Security

Maintaining the privacy of your residents, businesses, and other organizations is essential, and a user manager can help you do this. Extranet User Manager is built on Microsoft 365, a platform known for its security features. This adds a layer of security that is not available through other online collaboration tools.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your municipality grows, your organizational needs and goals may change. An external user manager will allow you to scale your municipal cybersecurity prevention without large service disruption. Extranet User Manager will grow with your organization, allowing you to add external users and easily manage them within one platform.


Municipal Cybersecurity Tips

Use an External User Manager

Giving your residents access to the information they need while limiting unauthorized access is necessary to maintain compliance with laws and regulations and to maintain residents' trust. With a user manager such as Extranet User Manager, your residents will be able to easily create accounts and access their information. User permissions dictate which information is available to users, ensuring that they are only able to access the information they are authorized to view. Your internal team can delegate and manage access and permission.

Develop and Update Policies

Your organization should outline a clear set of policies that govern how you share information internally and externally. This allows for enforcement and creates the opportunity for you to review and revise policies as needed. Some examples of this are, your organization may choose to outline permissions roles to simplify access management, or you may outline a document sharing policy.

Regular Training and Awareness

Once you have developed your municipal cybersecurity policies and plans, it is important for your organization to practice them. Training new employees and providing regular training opportunities or refreshers throughout the year will reinforce to your employees how important cybersecurity is for municipalities.

Implementing an external user manager can help mitigate municipal cybersecurity threats, no matter the size of your government. With the increasingly sophisticated nature of cybersecurity threats and the need to provide citizens with easy access to information online, having a secure external user manager will help your municipality achieve this. With Extranet User Manager, put the residents of your municipality at ease and provide a simple user experience for authorized information access.


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