Earlier this month the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert that Symantec and Norton antivirus software contain multiple vulnerabilities. Symantec has, in response, released patches that will fix the vulnerabilities and the US-Cert encourages all users to patch their software immediately. The alert is good reminder for all organizations to assess their overall vulnerability to cyberattacks, especially local governments.
With a growing amount of regulations to protect the personal information of both taxpayers and employees, there is an increased need to protect against cyberattacks within your organization. Many local governments face the struggle of maintaining data security in an ever-changing and complex environment while on a limited budget which oftentimes can result in limited expertise in the organization. In one study it was suggested that state and local governments spend approximately 5% of their IT budget on cybersecurity while those in commercial enterprises spend over 10%.
It is vital for all organizations to regularly assess their data security protocols and ensure the safety and security of sensitive information.
By Jeff Patterson, CPA, MBA