Multi-factor Authentication in Government Sector

Dear Readers,

This week’s blog is about Multi-factor Authentication in Government Sector; Cyberattacks continue to be a major concern for the state and local government sector, local officials, city councils, and other government entities. It is predicted that such cyberattacks will continue to rise. So, what makes the government sector so appealing to attackers? Let’s find out.

Ambimat Electronics, with its experience of over forty years, desires to draw the attention of its readers and potential customers towards this blog post about their new product called AmbiSecure key and how it will benefit us.

Multi-factor Authentication in Government Sector

Cyberattacks continue to be a major concern for the state and local government sector, local officials, city councils, and other government entities. It is predicted that such cyberattacks will continue to rise. So, what makes the government sector so appealing to attackers? Let’s find out.

Why Government Sectors are being targeted?

The amount of information stored by government agencies is immense. Most of them are classified data concerning their citizens. Massive disruption can occur if this data is compromised. It can even stop the services that many of us depend on. Additionally, government sector employees are working constantly round the clock. In such a situation, they can easily be distracted and fall prey to phishing attempts. Cybersecurity readiness is still lacking in most government sector, as there are not enough IT professionals equipped with the knowledge to implement high-level of security. There is also absence of awareness in regards to cyber threats across many government sectors.

It is surprising that even with a significant rise of cyberattacks in the government sector, many officials are still hesitant in implementing cybersecurity measures to address them. What is more shocking, is that they are unaware of the fact on how often they are being targeted. These are some of the issues for government sector to become a victim of cyberattacks and threats.

Defining Cyber Threats

Cyber attackers are not lenient on those who are unprepared, especially in the government sector. Apart from developing newer threats, that IT departments are unaware of, cyber attackers also rely on using the old ways of phishing and ransomware, as such methods have still proven to be effective and successful. Moreover, they are easy to launch. Needless to say, an overworked employee is likely to cause error, and threats actors are always ready to abuse these errors. One simple error of logging into an illegitimate phishing website, can result in huge financial losses and damages for the government.

Some of the newer and harsher means of cyber-attacks that government sector is likely to face, and are unsure how to protect themselves against it, is MFA-resistant phishing attacks.

Threat actors continuously work around the clock to break protection barriers, and over the years they have managed to dodge Multi-Factor Authentication protections such as SMS and OTPs authentication methods, which can now be intercepted by attackers.

Cyberattacks in government sector is not limited to just phishing and ransomware, it extends to election meddling and manipulation. Not only hackers, but foreign governments have been accused of prying into government election campaigns to create fear, uncertainty and doubt in the results. Therefore, it can be rightly said that government entities are vulnerable from all side, and threats can come in different forms and target different areas. As long the threats exist, the fight to stop them will continue for the government sector.

Improve Cybersecurity Readiness

Overall security cannot be achieved overnight. However, with implementing cybersecurity readiness government entities can improve its security.

Minimizing the Attack Surface

With remote work environment, minimizing the attack surface has become a difficult task. However, distinguishing the areas by which a cyber attacker can get access to system and resources, government sector can apply appropriate security to it. Today, many government organizations are shifting towards a zero-trust architecture to minimize attack surface. A no trust, always verify policy can significantly reduce attack surface, as all access is provided after verification.

Training

Training is an essential element when dealing with cybersecurity matters. Giving the necessary education to employees regarding the present and future threats will reduce man made mistakes significantly. Government sector should invest in strong cyber awareness programs that teaches staff about phishing attacks, ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, malware, etc. Such programs will lower the amount of stolen credentials and overall attacks. A strong email filtering system will also help reduce the threat arising from phishing emails.

Strong MFA Solution

Even with MFA-resistant phishing which targets SMS and OTPs, government organization can still implement strong multi-factor authentication methods. These methods can include the use of biometric which cannot be easily compromised. Apart from this the use of hardware security keys and card will also protect user accounts from breaches. Such type of authentication mechanism can prevent cyberattacks happening in the government sector.

Cyber threats will continue to haunt government organizations from every direction. They will not go away anytime soon. However, by being vigilant and ready government entities can prevent cybersecurity threats.

Reference:

https://blog.bio-key.com/cybersecurity-readiness-government

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