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Thought Leadership Thursday

Protecting Your Office During National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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Thought Leadership Thursday Article

Protecting Your Office During National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October 13, 2022
South Dakota

Dear Colleagues:

It’s Cybersecurity Awareness month! Hopefully, you aren’t clicking on any unusual email links or sending money to crown princes in the Middle East. All kidding aside, this is a good opportunity to talk about our fiduciary responsibilities, which in many cases include protecting tax dollars against fraud and other cyber threats.

When you look at cyber-attack trends since 2020, about 44 percent of global ransomware has targeted governments at every level. Furthermore, in 2021, 68 percent of states had at least one municipality or agency attacked. What’s more concerning is that almost 20 percent of government entities that were hit with a ransomware attack in 2020 paid the ransom.

While Cybersecurity Month is a good opportunity to highlight the cyber challenges we face in public finance, this is a topic that should be discussed daily in our respective offices. The bad guys understand that they only must get it right one time to cause chaos in our financial systems. As public finance leaders, we must get it right and protect tax and investment dollars every day. This truly is a heavy burden.

However, with ongoing education and training we can lead by example. Many of your departments have cyber-related training experts to help on the cyber defense journey.  If you are in a state like South Dakota where we have limited "in-house" resources, it’s critical to find external partners.

One aspect I truly love about NAST is our connection to corporate affiliates. We all know they provide significant value by offering training and tools that make our offices stronger. Cyber is no different. NAST has many corporate partners that offer significant value in this space.

I would encourage you to look through the business cards your received at recent conferences or visit NAST’s webpage listing all of the companies that are members of our esteemed association; or get in touch with any member of the Corporate Affiliate Advisory Board or NAST staff to inquire about getting connected with our partners who offer cyber services.

In case you missed the webinar yesterday on "Preparing Your Leadership for a Cyber Attack" you can watch the archived version here.

Yours in service,

Josh Haeder
South Dakota Treasurer
Senior Vice President, NAST

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