Building a resilient public sector


By Luke Power, Managing Director ANZ at Trellix
Wednesday, 05 July, 2023

Building a resilient public sector

In the face of ever-evolving cyber threats, the public sector finds itself at a critical juncture, requiring a transformative cultural shift to fortify its cybersecurity defences. We conducted a global survey and found that 59% of cybersecurity professionals in the public sector express a sense of losing the battle against cybercriminals. The mere adoption of new cybersecurity technologies is no longer sufficient; a comprehensive approach is imperative. This entails establishing robust security policies, investing in continuous education and training for staff, and ensuring the systematic maintenance of IT infrastructure.

Quality over quantity

While many government organisations boast an array of security tools, abundance does not guarantee foolproof protection. In fact, 87% of public sector respondents class their current security model as siloed (composed of tools and systems which cannot communicate with each other). It is the efficacy of these tools that truly matter, necessitating a shift in focus from quantity to effectiveness.

To overcome the limitations of isolated security tools, a unified and integrated approach is crucial. Breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration can lead to better visibility, improved threat detection and effective responses in real time. However, the success of these efforts depends on fostering a cybersecurity-conscious mindset among the workforce. Strict policies and ongoing education and training can empower employees to be vigilant against emerging risks.

Optimal upkeep and proactive measures

But the journey to strong cybersecurity doesn’t end there. Systematic maintenance of IT infrastructure is essential to ensure the resilience of critical systems. Regular updates, thorough patch management and proactive vulnerability assessments are the foundation of a secure infrastructure. By prioritising these practices, organisations can quickly identify and address vulnerabilities, thus minimising weak points of entry malicious actors seek.

On average, public-sector organisations face nearly 50 cybersecurity incidents daily, taking approximately 19 hours to report a significant cyber attack. The rapid evolution of security threats adds to the challenge, with 58% of respondents admitting they struggle to keep pace with these evolving risks. To do so means being proactive and overcoming the inertia that slows down the adoption of new protocols and technologies. A proactive approach is crucial and requires agile decision-making, streamlined procurement processes and efficient deployment strategies. By anticipating evolving threats and embracing emerging cybersecurity technologies, organisations can stay ahead of cybercriminals and protect critical assets.

Strengthening the public sector

To strengthen cybersecurity, the public sector needs to undergo a cultural shift. It’s not just about relying on new technologies; it requires a comprehensive change in mindset. By prioritising effectiveness over quantity and cultivating a proactive mindset, organisations can enhance their defences and safeguard Australia’s most sensitive data. As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, fostering a culture of awareness and agility, along with the efficient implementation of protocols and technologies, will position the public sector at the forefront of resilience against emerging cyber threats.

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