COVID-19 ignited a cyber pandemic as both public sector organizations and private-sector firms scrambled to cram years of digital transformation and modernization into a few weeks.
As the populace is vaccinated, and the threat of disease gradually recedes, the cyber pandemic rages on, and some security experts are questioning whether the worst is yet to come, particularly when it comes to attacks against the public sector. As cybercriminals breach public infrastructure, ranging from federal agencies to municipal emergency systems, Governing Magazine asked, “Are Governments Prepared if Cyber Attacks Get Worse?” The first thing any organization should do to prepare is to secure their employees’ passwords. Here are four reasons why.
1 – Most Successful Data Breaches Are Due to Compromised Passwords
According to Verizon, over 80% of successful data breaches overall — meaning in both the public and private sectors — are due to weak or compromised passwords. In the public sector, the problem is even worse. According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, nearly 90% of successful data breaches at U.S. federal agencies begin with a phishing scheme. Enterprise password management platforms such as Keeper help prevent employees from entering their credentials on phishing sites. Phishing sites use phony URLs that are very close to legitimate URLs. This small change may get past the naked eye, but it wouldn’t get past Keeper. Keeper would notify the user that there’s no match for that URL in their vault, a big red flag that their credentials are about to be compromised.
2 – Passwords May Be the Only Line of Defense for Small Agencies
In addition to being the first line of defense against cyberattacks, at some small, budget-strapped agencies, passwords may be the only line of defense. Most U.S. states dedicate less than 3% of their IT budgets to cybersecurity, as opposed to more than 10% in the private sector. Nearly half of all U.S. states lack a dedicated cybersecurity budget line item.
3 – Password Security Is Still Important Even If An Agency Deploys Robust Cybersecurity Tools
Federal government agencies may have more robust cybersecurity defenses, such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), data loss prevention (DLP) tools, and system information and event management (SIEM) systems, as well as single sign-on (SSO) deployments.
While these tools have their place, all of them can be easily defeated by an employee clicking on a phishing link or using a weak password.
4 – Password Security Is Integral to Compliance
Password security is an integral part of most compliance frameworks, including the frameworks that federal, state, and local agencies are subject to, such as NIST 800-53, FIPS and FedRAMP.
In addition to helping organizations achieve compliance, Keeper simplifies compliance monitoring and reporting with robust internal controls through delegated administration, enforcement policies, event tracking, monitoring, and reporting, as well as customizable audit logs and event reporting.
Keeper Is the Simple, Cost-Effective Way to Secure Your Agency’s Passwords and Digital Assets
Keeper’s zero-trust and zero-knowledge enterprise password management and security platform gives IT administrators complete visibility into password practices, enabling them to monitor password use and enforce password security policies throughout the organization. Fine-grained access controls allow administrators to set employee permissions based on their roles and responsibilities, as well as set up shared folders for individual groups, such as job classifications or project teams.
Keeper takes only minutes to deploy, requires minimal ongoing management, and scales to meet the needs of any organization, from a small municipality to a large federal agency.
Want to find out more about how Keeper can help your agency prevent security breaches? Reach out to our team today.