More municipalities adopting encryption security standards
As cybercriminals broaden their scope of attack on government agencies at the state and local levels, growing numbers of municipalities are starting to adopt security standards as an important way to protect themselves from malware threats. One southern California county in particular has successfully employed policies that were recently showcased at this year's RSA Conference to serve as a model for localities seeking to enhance cybersecurity.
According to ComputerWeekly, the standards devised by the county were structured in group hierarchy: the entire security of the the county's information is overseen by IT teams, who then report to officers and emergency watch teams. From there, the officers take the information acquired by the various IT teams and report those findings monthly to an IT steering committee as a holistic review the county's status. The steering committee goes on to make recommendations. Among the ten recommendations the company recently devised, full encryption of its hardware devices was listed as a top priority.
Studies confirm growth in encryption adoption
While federal and military agencies have been using cryptographic data methods for decades, smaller governments and enterprises are only now beginning to recognize their full value. In a report by B2B International, statistics revealed a sharp rise in the use of encryption technology by agencies between 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, similar findings from a recent Ponemon Institute study on encryption trends showed that compliance regulators are possibly more successful at pressing security than IT departments. Evidence of the growing emphasis placed on cryptographic security is further supported by increased investment over the last eight years, where the percentage of security budget spending jumped from 10 to 18 percent.
"For the first time this year, our study shows that more organizations say they have an encryption strategy than not, another clear indication that it is now seen as a strategic issue," said Dr. Larry Ponemon.
Although organizational adoption of security standards has increased, it should also be noted that widespread implementation is still far off. Among findings from the B2B report, only 36 percent of those surveyed used full disk encryption and 44 percent of respondents protect critical information.
Whether it be the public or private sector, running the latest in security technologies is the best way to keep sensitive data out of the hands of cybercriminals. Stay safe by visiting Thawte today to purchase an SSL certificate.