Rampart CIO

5 Strategies for CyberSafety – Council vs Citizen

Both council members and citizens encounter similar challenges in terms of cybersecurity. Let’s explore five tactics for maintaining cybersecurity and how they apply to each group.

1. Implement a DNS Filter

A DNS filter enhances your online safety by blocking access to known malicious sites. It can also restrict sites with inappropriate content or any unapproved site.

  • Council: Every city and town should consider implementing domain filtering. MS-ISAC offers their Malicious Domain Blocking and Reporting (MDBR) service free of charge to members, not just blocking malicious sites, but also providing feedback on what sites were blocked.
  • Citizen: Cloudflare provides two free options. The first, 1.1.1.2, is a DNS filter that blocks malicious websites spreading malware. The second, 1.1.1.3, is a family-friendly DNS filter that blocks inappropriate content such as violent or sexually explicit media, in addition to everything blocked by 1.1.1.2. Both are excellent for personal use, but note that they do not provide reporting.


2. Regularly Update Software
Keeping your software updated is a cost-free measure of immense value. Not updating your software means missing out on the latest security updates that fix exploitable issues.

  • Council: Check with your staff or Managed Service Provider (MSP) about your organization’s patching policy. Request a compliance report for added assurance.
  • Citizen: Regularly update your operating system and other core software. Enable automatic updates when possible and occasionally run a manual update for good measure. This includes your browsers too.


3. Run Antivirus Software
Antivirus software detects and removes malware on your computer.

  • Council: MS-ISAC offers CrowdStrike to members at a discounted rate, and their 24×7 Security Operations Center (SOC) monitors all alerts generated from the CrowdStrike sensor. Even if you already have a solution, it’s worth comparing costs with the MS-ISAC offering.
  • Citizen: There are numerous products available, but Windows Defender is free and comparable to many others. The key is to run antivirus software, regardless of the brand. However, avoid that company banned by the Federal Government.


4. Use Cloud Storage
Cloud storage not only makes your data accessible anywhere but also protects your files from ransomware attacks. If your data is encrypted and held for ransom, you can restore it from the cloud using a previous version. However, this doesn’t protect your data from being viewed or made public. For that, you’ll need encryption.

  • Council: Check if your staff or MSP has redirected user folders to a cloud storage location like OneDrive.
  • Citizen: You have several options including OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or even iCloud.


5. Educate Yourself About Phishing
Learning about scammer tactics helps you avoid becoming a target. A training program that is informative and engaging is a great way to learn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>