Crucial Data Security Focus Areas for Federal Agencies

For any government agency, cyber threat is a constant challenge. Cybercriminals keep updating their methods to exploit weaknesses of government IT infrastructure. Cybercriminals keep changing their attack vectors and hunting for vulnerabilities in cybersecurity systems with new technological advancements. They are also adept at tweaking malware to make it more destructive.

Most often, cyber threats are unique to the company or government agency. Some businesses are threatened by general attacks, while some become prey to targeted attacks. Whether you are a business organization or a government agency, you can’t let your guards down when it comes to cybersecurity and data security. Businesses and organizations heavily rely on data to operate. And customers only share their data with businesses that are committed to data protection. A data security breach can leak sensitive and critical personal information of the clients. This not only puts the clients and customers under threat but also damages the reputation of the organization.

For DoD contractors and organizations who access Controlled Unclassified Information and Covered Defense Information, data security and cybersecurity compliance become essential.

Here are some critical areas federal agencies should focus on when addressing data security.

1) Be Prepare for DDoS attacks

One of the most severe and crippling cyber-attacks is Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS. In DDoS attacks, the hackers use bots to send repeated queries to a company’s network. This overwhelms the company’s network making it impossible for the users to access the systems. DDoS cyber-attacks are targeted towards organizations’ availability to serve their customers. If their system is not accessible to its customers, it will not be able to fulfill customer satisfaction and customer experience.

FBI recently announced to alert organizations for DDoS attacks. Organizations were warned that hackers could take advantage of hidden vulnerabilities and expand their scope of the threat.

To address such threats, one should work with a reliable network provider who can constantly keep an eye on the network and identify suspicious traffic.

2) Focus on data encryption

Unencrypted or poorly encrypted data is a staple for any hacker. Hackers and cybercriminals use such information to steal the identities of their victims and commit scams and frauds. Encryption of data protects the information as only the authorized user can only open or use the data. Data should be secured and encrypted wherever they are stored. If you are using the cloud for data storage, you should ensure your cloud provider encrypts the data before storing it.

3) Ensure you have adequate backup and recovery 

Besides having a robust plan for data security, organizations should invest in data backup and recovery. Having a proper data backup and recovery plan, an organization can seamlessly recover from cyber-attack like ransomware attacks. Organizations must keep backup files of data and store them outside the premises. This way, if a system’s security is compromised and under attack, all data will not be lost or destroyed. Besides this, data security providers suggest that one should have more than one backup on two or more media.

Once you have set up a backup and data recovery plan, keep reviewing and testing it to check its efficiency. Testing the data recovery strategy also improves the success rate of the plan in a real-world scenario. If any issues or problems arise during the testing phase, they can be remediated easily.

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