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5 ways government agencies can prepare for cybercrime

In today’s data-driven world, a reactive approach to cybersecurity won’t cut it. How can public-sector organisations manage digital risks?


Governments face an increasingly complex security landscape—new technology ushering in benefits for citizens, new and emerging threats to contend with, and significant pressure to protect data. But how serious are the risks posed to the public sector by data breaches and other cyber threats? According to estimates, cyberattacks cost the global economy $400 billion each year. The public sector is a primary target, but how can public-sector organisations—large and small—manage digital risks?

By developing a robust, proactive cybersecurity strategy, government agencies will be better equipped to prepare for, prevent and resolve digital threats into the future.

Here are five key steps to improve the cybersecurity “health” of an organisation


SECTION 1: Undertake a risk assessment

  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine areas of greatest vulnerability and potential consequences of an attack

  • Understand the worst and most likely scenarios to engineer defences

  • Ensure dialogue between security experts and stakeholders




SECTION 2: Take an Intelligence-led, Analytics-based Approach

  • Effective cybersecurity can no longer rely on a “gates and guards” approach

  • Advanced analytics can help with cyberthreat identification and intelligence



50% say digital initiatives are critical to data security *

* See the Cybersecurity and Digital Trust in 2016: rethinking "state of the art" report


SECTION 3: Invest in cybersecurity talent

  • Many public service organisations are finding themselves short on the right skills and competencies to stave off digital threats

  • Public service leaders must allocate resources to attract and build a strong cybersecurity team


SECTION 4: Increase stakeholder collaboration

  • Government employees need to understand the risks and security protocols when using mobile devices or operating in the cloud

  • Educate employees about cybersecurity so everyone can play their part in keeping data safe

  • Work with peer organisations, academia and the private sector to minimize risk

CALL OUT: A recent survey of more than 200 enterprise security professionals showed two-thirds had experienced data theft or corruption within their organisation.*

* See the Cybersecurity and Digital Trust in 2016: rethinking "state of the art" report


SECTION 5: Devise a cybersecurity strategy

  • A crisis response plan is not enough. A proactive data security strategy is needed

  • Prioritisation is important

“To prepare for the next wave of digital threats, all public-sector leaders must allocate resources to build a strong cybersecurity team”

Ger Daly
Accenture Managing Director for Defense and Public Safety