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July 5, 2024 | By christa

Insights and Strategies for Combating Top Cyber Threats to Local Governments

In recent years, cyberattacks targeting government bodies have surged drastically, with a staggering 95% increase since the second half of 2022. This trend should be sending alarm bells to local governments that might have less than optimal cyber security measures in place.

While government-involved cyberattacks are certainly not a new phenomenon (some of the earliest attacks date back to the late 90s), their increasing sophistication poses challenges for keeping sensitive data and critical infrastructure safe. Here are a few of the biggest threats facing local governments today:


Legacy System Vulnerabilities

The Problem: One of the biggest challenges faced by local governments is the presence of legacy systems, which are often outdated and vulnerable to cyber threats. These systems lack the robust security features found in modern IT infrastructure, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.

Proposed Solution: Upgrading to secure, modernized systems is the best way to mitigate the risk of breaches and protect sensitive government data.


Phishing and Social Engineering

The Problem: Phishing attempts remain a prevalent threat to local governments, exploiting human vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. One of the most common phishing attempts is through business email compromise (BEC) to deceive employees and manipulate them into divulging confidential information or downloading malicious software.

Proposed Solution: Employee training and awareness programs are essential for educating staff about the dangers of phishing and enhancing their ability to identify and report suspicious emails.


Compliance Requirements

The Problem: Local governments must adhere to strict compliance regulations, such as HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS, to ensure the security and privacy of citizen data. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties and reputational damage.

Proposed Solution: Implementing strong cybersecurity solutions and regularly auditing systems for compliance are essential for not only staying compliant but also keeping sensitive information locked down


Ransomware Breeding Farms

The Problem: Ransomware attacks pose a significant threat to local governments. Think of ransomware like a termite infestation, infiltrating and damaging critical infrastructure. But, in this case, it doesn’t take days, weeks, or months to cause catastrophic damage – it can be a matter of minutes or seconds.

Proposed Solution: Local governments should be implementing proactive ransomware prevention measures like regular backups, network segmentation, and employee training.


Supply Chain Management

The Problem: Local governments face unique challenges in managing their supply chains, including complex procurement processes, reliance on third-party vendors, and limited visibility into supply chain operations. These factors increase the risk of supply chain-related cyber attacks, such as ransomware infiltrating through vendor networks or compromised supply chain software.

Proposed Solution:
To address these vulnerabilities, local governments can leverage industry best practices such as the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR), the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the Supply Chain Security Management Systems (ISO 28000), and the Cybersecurity Assurance Framework (CSAF).


Local Governments Need Cybersecurity Resilience Too

For expert guidance and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions tailored to the unique needs of local governments, partner with LeadingIT. Our managed IT services and cybersecurity expertise can help safeguard your organization against evolving cyber threats and ensure the continuity of essential services. Contact us today to learn more and fortify your cybersecurity defenses.


LeadingIT is a cyber-resilient technology and cybersecurity support provider. With our concierge support model, we provide customized solutions to meet the unique needs of nonprofits, schools, manufacturers, accounting firms, government agencies, and law offices with 20-200 employees in the Chicagoland area. Our team of experts solves the unsolvable while helping our clients leverage technology to achieve their business goals, ensuring the highest level of security and reliability.

Do you need cybersecurity support to protect your business? Leave a message for us and we will get back to you right away.



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