Cybercriminals of today often tread the path of least resistance, and many times they find that cities and states (and our U.S. government!) are that path. One state’s Department of Revenue recently sustained a security breach that affected 3.8 million taxpayers who had their social security numbers exposed, along with other sensitive personal information. This attack was traced to a single “phishing” email delivered to a government employee that allowed hackers to access the state’s computer network. Long story short, this one government employee clicking on one malicious email cost the state as much as $12 million in credit monitoring services, not to mention other costs that stemmed from the attack.

And what about the attack on the City of Atlanta that occurred in March of 2018? That single attack cost the city over $2.8 million to restore the city’s operations while some departments still remain hobbled by an attack that occurred after years of warnings about vulnerabilities in the city’s system. Some city employees went a full five days without being able to use their computers.

And regrettably smaller cities are not exempt from attack. The City of Leeds in Alabama, population, 11,940 was hit by a ransomware attack that ended with city leaders having to pay hackers a ransom of $12,000 in Bitcoin to regain control of their systems.

Municipalities have control over millions of records containing sensitive personal information. These entities also typically have tight budgets and are reluctant to increase spending on cybersecurity. However, they must conduct themselves just as any other business when it comes to cybersecurity by recognizing the threat exists and by preparing for breach avoidance, breach mitigation, and breach recovery. Good cybersecurity education and comprehensive cyber insurance go a long way in helping municipalities meet these goals.

ThreatAdvice offers a complete cybersecurity education and awareness training for governments and municipalities that includes the basics of cybersecurity and customized modules that relate specifically to municipalities. Cyber education at a non-technical level is paramount to successfully protecting every municipality. ThreatAdvice offers unique and cutting-edge cyber education and awareness solutions to meet these needs for municipalities. Through our intuitive cybersecurity learning management, to simulated phishing attacks, to our Company Threat Plan, we can help protect you and your municipality. Additionally, ThreatAdvice provides customizable policies and procedures regarding cybersecurity processes that can be customized to meet the needs of municipalities.

Take a look at the City of Vestavia’s experience with ThreatAdvice. Read our Q.&A. with the City of Vestavia’s city manager on the threats cities face and the importance of cyber education.