This goes back
to a maxim I frequently use – the weakest link in any security system is the
human link. If you have policies in place that no one knows about or that aren’t
practical, people aren’t going to use them or will find ways to circumvent
them. Sure there are technical solutions like blocking FTP sites or removing storage
medium capabilities from the workstations, but people always seem to find some unsecure
way to send data back and forth.
The solution is
training! If you put policies and technologies in place make sure every
employee goes through intensive training so that they are aware of and know how
to use them. Furthermore, discuss in detail the consequences of going lax with
data security, especially in environments that are dealing with sensitive data.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of government agencies getting hacked yet no
one really ever thinks it’ll happen to them. As someone who’s spent a great
deal of time helping cities recover from such attacks, I can safely tell you
that its far better to assume you will be attacked eventually and then plan and
act accordingly. Training your users is the single best way to prevent data
security holes from affecting your organization.
If you are at a city and currently find yourself in a
position to make this sort of decision, GovTech has a must-read article about
an economic theory called comparative
advantage. It’s a great way of thinking about how the cost of something is
only one part of an equation. Depending on what you’re buying, there may be a
whole host of other factors that come into play to help you determine if the
decision is a wise one. The trick is sifting through all of the data to find
out what really matters.
Our friends over at the Georgia Municipal Association point us to a study from the Fels
Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania that details seven social media lessons for cities. If your city is grappling with
how to use social media, this may be exactly what you’re looking for to break
through that barrier.
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