June 20, 2023
2 Min Read
Serving the public requires that government agencies handle and store a vast amount of information on private citizens. Every piece of this data has value—both to cybercriminals who may use it for fraud or other malicious purposes and the public sector organizations who need it to function.
Government agencies must keep security front and center while navigating a minefield of targeted attacks and other malicious activity. As is often the case in the public sector, effectively protecting data, users, and devices involves implementing a comprehensive compliance strategy. For government agencies, there are a variety of regulations and security frameworks ranging from HIPAA to FISMA to NIST SP 800-53 that set the requirements for how IT assets and data must be protected.
In our latest compliance white paper, we look at these and other regulations and industry standards driving cybersecurity efforts in the public sector.
Security and compliance requirements are wedded together. The regulations establish the overall baseline that security protections must meet. For government organizations, several challenges are front and center, including controlling off-network devices, securing remote employees and their data, and assessing risk. Access controls, encryption, and endpoint management are critical capabilities that enable government agencies to meet these challenges. Regulatory mandates and industry standards tell organizations what they need to hone in and protect, what counts as sensitive data, and the level of controls that must be implemented to secure it and users’ devices.
As always, organizations must know what regulations apply to them and use that information to help shape spending and strategic priorities. Some agencies may have multiple regulations to comply with, making meeting mandates complicated. Ongoing compliance management requires more than just the occasional checkup; it means monitoring your endpoints and environment to detect and remediate any issues before they can be exploited or uncovered in a formal audit. Understanding compliance requirements is a necessary element of understanding risk. When it comes to protecting sensitive data, the threat is not only the possibility of a data breach—failing to comply with required standards can also result in punishments such as fines and other penalties.
With sensitive data on so many devices, government agencies need to focus on issues such as asset intelligence, automated endpoint hygiene, and continuous compliance monitoring on all their endpoints. To read more about the marriage of compliance and cybersecurity for government organizations, download our white paper on the public sector here. For a general look at compliance and cybersecurity and how organizations can take a risk-based approach to compliance, download our main report.
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