We Examine Where Technology Meets The Public Sector


Cybersecurity Trends In The Public Sector

The public sector depends on the local and state governments for full spectrum protection against cyber threats. Cybersecurity is the only way to protect ourselves from the rising ransomware attacks to breaches of identity.

As technology advances, there are bound to be more hackers on the rise who daunt security providers with sophisticated tactics. The two parties are in a constant battle to outsmart each other with innovative ideas that either break or make the internet.

As per the latest 2022 Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study, there is improvement and maturity in state-level cybersecurity as more officials and statesmen are now taking the threat more seriously.

When we take a look at the current context, every state has a chief information security officer (CISO). In addition, extra cybersecurity control measures are being taken, and there is a rise in the state-level budget.

This article covers the latest cybersecurity trends in the public sector based on the report given by CISOs from 53 US territories and states.

8 Public Sector Cybersecurity Trends

  • Awareness in State Lawmakers

It is high time that the state lawmakers and officials took the matter into their hands. With increased cyber threats in both the federal and public sectors, lawmakers are finally taking action to combat the threats.

As more lawmakers enter the cybersecurity scene, more CISO funds are imbursed, and more cybersecurity programs are initiated. The survey points out that relatively more states are in need of a CISO. 44% of the US states are funding a CISO role, while 10% are putting extra effort into the cybersecurity process. The awareness is only beginning. There are still many states that do not have a proper cybersecurity protocol for routine checks on cyber threats and risks.

  • Increased Cybersecurity Funds

Cyber theft is a very substantial threat. So, it is a relief to know that most states are taking measures to tackle the issue. As per the study, 30 states have raised their IT budgets for cybersecurity over the past year.

However, the budget percentage of cybersecurity isn’t maintained by most states. A few of them claim to have allotted about 10% of their budget to cybersecurity. The budget for cybersecurity is generally specified by the law, the governor’s orders, or state administrators. Only 2% of States are recorded to have lowered their budget for cybersecurity.

  • Improved Cyber Administration

According to the survey, every state in the US has a CISO now. However, some US territories still don’t. Some states that are more prone to cyber-attacks have even gone the extra measure to deepen their security. They have even banded with CROs and CPOs to heighten their cybersecurity.

The collaboration with these security executives allows for a more regular and comprehensive report to the officials of the state on the subject.

  • Fall in Complex Challenges

With better facilities and programs come better productivity and situations. And with the rise in budget, the future of cybersecurity is looking bright.

Outdated IT and security infrastructure, as well as poor and disengaging cybersecurity programs, had been a major threat to the public and scope for hackers. But as more funds are disbursed, CISOs have been able to upgrade and improve their system.

  • Local Government at Higher Risks

The study above proves that the state governments are doing a good job when it comes to cracking complicated cyber cases. State governments are employing security awareness, threat monitoring, risk assessment, access management, and incident response, among others.

However, the same can’t be said for the local governments, which are still lagging. Only about 8% of local governments are equipped with solid cybersecurity to protect the locals, while 67% of state governments have reached maturity when it comes to security awareness.

  • Minimal State and Local Cyber-Collaboration

There are few collaborations between the state and local governments. Only about 35% of CISOs working for the state collaborate with local governments. With the unwillingness of CISOs to work together with the local governments, minimal progress is seen on the local-state government front. We have seen collaboration with certain cybersecurity affairs between these governing bodies. Consider the take down of the dark web black market place “The Silk Road” or the prosecution of the creators of the backpage website. Sites like skipthegames escort finder and others that operate in the gray area between local and state governments often require collaboration between local and state cybersecurity teams.

  • Lack of Cybersecurity Staff

There are still few people who are in the cybersecurity business, and not many people have the necessary talent to crack or prevent a cyber threat. Even with the increase in cybersecurity budgets, the lack of talent is a major setback when it comes to staffing. It is hard to find people with the right abilities to fill in the gaps in the department of cybersecurity. Even mid-level cybersecurity posts take over three months for an expert to fill in. Director-level positions generally take more than six months to fill.

  • Cybersecurity and Outsourcing

Outsourced resources are valuable when it comes to filling the state CISOs’ competency gaps. Through cybersecurity contractors, a few cybersecurity offices are well-equipped with security providers. They usually employ 16 or more equivalents.

The number of CISOs in contract with an authorized security service provider for staff filling gaps has risen. In 2020, the percentage was only 51%, as compared to 78% in 2022.

Key Technology Trends Shaping The Public Sector

The rise of technology in the modern-day world is evident in our current lifestyle. Just thinking about one day away from all the tech stuff is unimaginable. This is how the trend of technology dictates our life.

Similarly, the public sector has now moved towards this trend. The government is slowly adapting to all the emerging technologies. It started slowly and gradually increased over the last two decades.

Whether you’re a consumer or a business owner, staying aware of upcoming trends is a must. Therefore, this gives you more than one reason to know what tech trends are the driving force behind the public sector. So, let us look at some of them.

  • Collective Management For Better Service

Different entities in the public sector must share and manage the work for better service. This is especially true if they want to satisfy the needs of the consumers. In fact, they need to exceed all their expectations.

Thus, we can see a collaborative effort between different agencies. We need this combined effort to improve services and become more innovative. Moreover, this is what the citizens require.

Everything will click if governments try to share vital information, ideas, and resources. They can solve and execute every problem with better efficiency. This, in turn, will lead to improved public services.

One limiting factor we can observe in many businesses is organizational silos. In simple terms, this factor limits the flow or sharing of information between parties. Thus, it creates a division among the various departments.

What we need is a shared platform. This common ground will enable every entity to share information and ideas securely. Different departments and also the local and federal government will benefit significantly through such platforms.

The best part about these platforms is that it helps workers share and work seamlessly together. There is a sense of security while they work, and the outcome is nothing but positive. They also help in analyzing information collected from various sources.

  • Use Of Automated Work Execution For Time-saving And Efficient Services

When an automated work system is in place, nothing can go wrong. This system saves plenty of time and effort. The result is better management of activities and more effective services for the citizens.

Different studies show that government officials waste excess time and money without any positive results. There are multiple meetings, data and report collection, paperwork, etc. They spend a lot of precious time on these activities.

Departments and agencies should put these aside for once and focus on future projects and plans. Sticking with this old-fashioned approach will only lead to a decline in the agency’s progress. Instead, such time can be put to better use, planning and working on innovative solutions and ideas.

The good thing is the government is slowly becoming aware of such automated workflow systems. Over the past few years, we have seen the growth of automation as the primary factor in many departments. This approach saves time and improves workflow and management across several sectors.

Workers are no longer spending hours upon hours processing information. They now have more time to spend working on projects that are more beneficial and critical to their cause. Thus, we can see a development in innovative ideas, which is what the public is thirsty for.

For this to happen, one requires an efficient platform where one can operate and manage their work automatically. Such work execution platforms will make life easier for employees. It helps automate regulations and policies, data collection, information workflow, etc.

A platform like this is essential as it tracks and operates processes seamlessly. Departments can now move forward and provide better and more efficient services to tech-savvy citizens. One can no longer think of excessive paperwork or unnecessary rules that hinder progress.

  • Smart Technology For Smarter Cities

Nowadays, almost everything is tech-driven. We have started to embrace the term Internet of Things or IoT. Everything from our phones to our homes makes use of technology that connects and shares information to make life easier.

On that note, the concept of “Smart cities” is no longer a new thing. The government is putting in more effort to make this possible by connecting places with the help of technology. This effort helps them analyze data and come up with what the citizens want.

The data collected is then analyzed to improve services. A network of connected devices helps the government cut costs, improve planning, and provide a quality life for the citizens.

This concept of a network of devices is not new. We have seen them in use in vending machines in the early eighties. What we are witnessing now is an improvement in this technology.

We can even see this in use in collaboration between the government, public, and educational sectors. Such projects bring innovation and community needs together for better living.

Such initiatives require a flexible platform that can help in planning and management. It brings the public, government, and community together for a collective effort.

Looking Forward

We do not know what the future of technology holds. But we know it is getting more complex but better over the years. And such tech-driven innovations are only going to benefit the public sector on the positive side.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are rising forces in today’s world. Such concepts are slowly in use in the public sector, from crime investigation to farming. We can also see the government crypto and blockchain tech for several projects.

Nevertheless, the future looks bright for the public sector and technology trends. And we hope to see more developments as the years go by.