March 29 has come and gone, and in the weeks since we have gained little clarity around how and when (or perhaps even if) the UK will exit the European Union. And with speculation around a possible general election gathering momentum, many public sector organisations are struggling to make positive digital transformation decisions that will improve efficiency and delivery for end service users.
Unfortunately, the issues facing digital champions in the public sector are further compounded by the current volatile cybersecurity landscape. Cybercriminals have never been more aggressive, ruthless and successful in targeting organisations across both the public and private sectors, and the bad news is that government is the most targeted sector for cybercriminals in the UK along with finance.
So, digital paralysis won’t just hold you back from improving services; it could also open your organisation up to ransomware, DDoS, phishing attacks and any number of cybersecurity risks that have the potential to seriously disrupt service delivery and damage reputation.
If it seems like I’m painting a grim picture, it’s because the public sector organisations I speak to are facing greater pressures than ever before in my memory. But the good news is that there are some straightforward ways to maximise ROI on your IT budget that will help get the gears turning on your digital transformation journey whilst helping to safeguard your organisation from cyber-attack.
Maximise ROI on your organisation’s IT budget
If it can sometimes feel like the end of days working in an IT department, it needn’t do. The following five quick wins will shore up your organisation’s cybersecurity defences, and will take you a few steps further down the line with your digital transformation journey.
- Perform a server health check. Healthy, secure servers are essential to the effective delivery of services for any organisation. On the flipside, outdated and unsecure servers can leave you exposed to cyber-attack. Perform a server health check and address any weaknesses with immediate corrective actions followed by a regular schedule of patch management.
- Be serious about your patch management. Patch management isn’t a ‘one and done’ exercise, and it’s not something that can just be scheduled in ad hoc when you have the time. Proper patch management follows a prescribed schedule that aligns to vendor security patch releases, and allows scope for emergency security patching when required.
- Undertake regular penetration testing. Penetration testing offers a snapshot of external weaknesses that could give cybercriminals access to your organisation’s environment. Since most IT infrastructures are constantly changing, regular penetration testing is important to help identify and close any security gaps that may be found.
- Maintain secure connectivity. Many public sector organisations operate across multiple locations, many of which will need to communicate regularly with each other. If you haven’t considered the strength of your connectivity security, cybercriminals certainly have. Assess your routers, firewalls and overall network security, and take steps to implement best practice measures throughout.
- Undertake a cloud readiness assessment. Many public sector organisations feel trapped by legacy applications and business critical workloads that force them to remain on local infrastructure. However, you may be more ready to undertake a cloud transition than you think. A cloud readiness assessment will help you understand what can transition to the cloud and when, and will allow you to develop a fully evidenced and workable digital transformation strategy.
Before you can run it’s important to be able to walk. Laying stable foundations through these five quick wins will put you in a great position to break the Brexit impasse and maximise ROI on your organisation’s IT budget.
Technology expense management helps government organisations reduce costs, drive efficiency and increase control across the entire IT and communications lifecycle.