Recasting cybersecurity as another essential public service, just like safety or water or electricity, can help local government leaders make the case for cybersecurity funding. Here’s how.
There is a unique and often overlooked inverse relationship between the size of public sector government entities and the impact they have on the residents who make use of public services. This relationship creates a disproportionate burden on local governments, which may be small in size but have a large potential impact on the daily lives of their constituents.
It is most often the local governments that are responsible for the delivery of essential services such as public safety communications, power generation and distribution, water treatment and waste removal. And, when such critical infrastructure is compromised by a cybersecurity event, such as a ransomware attack, the lives of local residents are upended.
In effect, the expanding modern attack surface appears to create a disproportionately larger “affect” surface as the size of the jurisdiction gets smaller.
Cyber criminals don’t discriminate based on size when attacking government entities: any jurisdiction is fair game, from the largest federal agency down to the smallest city government. Because cybersecurity funding is very limited in local government, county and city officials should consider ways to increase public awareness of the need for increased investment in cybersecurity by tying it to existing public services that are fully supported and admired by constituents and to campaigns that will garner broad public support, such as reducing the “digital divide.”
3 Ways Local Governments Can Change the Cybersecurity Conversation
Here are three ideas for how local governments can change the dialog around cybersecurity to help constituents understand the importance of investing precious public resources in such efforts:
Helping residents understand the link between cybersecurity and the most basic public services is an important step in making the case for increased funding. These three ideas are one way for officials to begin the conversation and raise awareness of the importance of keeping critical infrastructure safe and secure.
- Read about Tenable’s Predictive Prioritization offerings.
- View the on-demand webinar Cybersecurity in Public Sector: 5 Insights You Need to Know.
- Read about Tenable’s Operational Technology solutions.