A data breach in the government can potentially wreak great havoc to a country and its citizens. It can even cause cyberwarfare. So, what should governments do to avoid this? Read on below.
Data Breach in the Government
Today, many governments are undergoing digital transformation. This means that they now use technology to improve the delivery of services and to enhance citizen engagement. The digital transformation also dictates that governments should have a plan designed to protect citizens’ data.
A data breach is a criminal activity that involves the theft or loss of sensitive information, whether accidentally or deliberately. It can be a serious threat to a government or a country. When this happens, it puts the country’s national security at risk.
In Australia, for instance, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) suffered a data breach in 2015. The said breach exposed the personal information of more than 800,000 taxpayers including bank accounts and tax file numbers.
In the United States as well as in other countries, there are also reports of other agencies being hacked by foreign actors. Including the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Agency.
This is why governments need to have a clear plan on how they should respond to a data breach within their agency or jurisdiction, as well as a data breach in another agency outside their control.
How to Avoid Data Breach in the Government
Plan in advance
First and foremost, governments should have an incident response plan in advance, especially in situations where there is an imminent threat or when there has already been an attack. As part of this plan, they should put up policies that are designed to mitigate cyberattacks.
For instance, they can create policies that are supposed to limit access to confidential information only to authorized persons with the right credentials. This is why it is important that government agencies also use encryption services. For when sending documents over email for confidential matters between agencies or departments/ministries within the government agency itself.
Use the right tools
Next up, they need to use the right technology. Today, there is data protection software designed for government agencies. These are useful programs that can make it easier for government agencies to protect their citizens’ data. Using these tools will help them detect cyberattacks and other threats before the damage is done.
Training is important too
Lastly, governments should also implement mandatory IT security training for every employee in the agency. This will help them understand the basic concepts of data protection and how they can protect confidential information.
Safeguarding private data is not an easy feat to accomplish, but it is very much possible. This is why governments must implement a clear plan on how they will respond to a data breach in their agency or another agency within their jurisdiction.
A Data Breach in the Government Should Not Happen
As you can see, a data breach in the government can be very detrimental to the country and its citizens. That is why governments need to have an incident response plan in place. It will help them deal with data breach issues right away.