October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we are sharing methods to safeguard our valued members and internal communications from those scheming cybercriminals.
While many cybercriminals target large corporations for massive sums of money (ransomware), we’ve found that municipal governments are also a common target—but for different reason. Both a local government’s access to vital information (they are often part of a much larger operation tied to other state and federal systems), and weak network security marks Georgia cities and communities nationwide as vulnerable, easy targets. Outside of government entities, we remind our members of other connections they have that could also be compromised by a phishing scam—from utility companies to financial intuitions.
Over the past few months we’ve actively engaged with our cities to not only measure the types of cybersecurity threats they’ve encountered, but to offer proactive resources from our expert partners and sponsors. Check some of them out below:
After more than 80 years of serving cities through advocacy, programs, training and innovation, we’d like to think that we are a pretty trusted resource for cities—and so do some cybercriminals. Less than a month ago, bad actors attempted to exploit our members’ trust with an email requesting immediate attention to open an invoice link. Thanks to the open communication we have with our members and the exceptional skills of our IT team, we were able to spread the word internally and externally within two hours of being made aware of the threat.
Our internal network safety measures also include regular, staff wide email reminders with examples of deceptive spoofing tactics. It was startling to see how creative these criminals can be—from altering one letter in an sender email (@dropo
box.com vs. @dropbox.com) to recreating a financial institution’s logo and email design format (almost identical).
As you can see, we’ve had quite the celebration for National Cybersecurity Month, all in the name of “#GaCities Safety!”