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Cyber security best practices to support local governments

Presented by Eugene Ng
in Technology
March, 2024

Sponsored by MNP

The nationwide MNP Digital Municipal Research Report benchmarks digital transformation across municipalities. When looking at strategic priorities, cyber security and privacy were identified as a primary focus for municipal organizations over the next three to five years.

Many local governments have limited budgets to invest in digital transformation. But it is still critical to protect sensitive data from cyber attacks and security breaches. The following best practices can help protect your organization’s technology, data, and information from threats.

Review Risks

Risks are an inherent part of digital transformation programs and initiatives. Review any potential privacy risks introduced by changes to your business processes and technologies to understand the threats associated with your digital transformation initiatives. This will help you identify the steps you can take to mitigate the risks associated with adopting new technology.

Leverage Industry Frameworks

Industry frameworks have been developed to support cyber security practices across organizations. These frameworks provide standards for the design, implementation, and management of cyber security programs. They can also be customized to meet the unique requirements of your local government.

Take Protective Measures

Protective measures can help reduce risks to your municipal organization. These include implementing operational technology security environments and constantly monitoring your systems. Developing a risk-based patch and vulnerability program can also help mitigate threats to organizational data and information.

Discuss cyber insurance coverage and identify any potential gaps with your management team. Additionally, consider subscribing to an ongoing threat intelligence program. These programs can help keep your local government’s data and sensitive information safe from cyber attacks.

Perform Regular Assessments

Regular assessments can identify and prioritize the protection of your most important information. Crown jewel assessments can identify your organization’s crown jewels, such as data about people or financial records. After the identification process is complete, the assessment team can:

  • review vulnerabilities and risks
  • evaluate security measures
  • allocate resources to protect these valuable assets

Create an Incident Response Plan

An incident response plan can help you effectively respond to security breaches or cyber attacks. Incident response plans focus on minimizing the impact of a cyber attack, limiting damages, and resuming operations quickly after an incident occurs.

Collaborate with Other Municipalities

Many local governments are facing the same risks as digital transformation increases. It may be helpful to collaborate with other municipal organizations to:

  • increase threat intelligence
  • create a joint security operations centre (SOC)

These partnerships can help reduce the cost of your cyber security measures. They also provide comprehensive protection against new and established threats.

Take the Next Steps

Amplify the power of your cyber security program with MNP Digital’s Cyber Security and Privacy team. Visit to book a free consultation or learn more about cyber security measures.  MW

Municipal World Executive and Essentials Plus Members: You might also be interested in Renee Foster’s article: Cyber controls vital for securing government and supply chains.

Eugene Ng is MNP’s cyber security leader for eastern Canada.

Related resource materials:

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