Governments at all levels are subject to relentless attacks by persons and groups with a diverse range of motivations. Criminals are organized to attack governments in search of valuable personal information or financial data. Hacktivists vandalize government web sites use them as online platorms for their cause. Most importantly, state-sponsored attacks are aimed at the vital information resources of the government. These attacks are persistent, and will succeed at exploiting vulnerabilities over time.
Governments can no longer be satisfied by maintaining a simple web presence - the digital age requires that services be made available to citizens online. Each new service may contain new data targets, and new vulnerabilities; from an attacker's perspective, the target surface is exponentially increasing. The risk to governments is being compounded as more devices are being connected to the network, including citizens who connect to the network with personal devices. At the same time, governments are experimenting with non-traditional networks as they launch initiatives such as "smart cities". As a result, they have to consider industrial control systems / SCADA, as well as the emerging Internet of Things, IoT.
As governments respond to the emerging challenges, they must also deal with the introduction of new IT practices. For example, governments are moving operations to cloud-based providers; these new technologies require skilled and knowledgeable employees. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the public sector to compete against the private sector for advanced security skillsets. To ensure continued secure operations, governments must be able to train and develop their own internal resources.
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