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It’s one thing to know that you need to secure your endpoints, but it’s a whole other to get that type of initiative off the ground with limited staff and resources. The best place to start is with a few quick, measurable wins that can kick off your journey to success. Here are a few ways to do so at your organization.  

Make simple changes to your machines’ settings

Quick win goal: Better protect your municipality’s data and infrastructure by starting with “low-hanging fruit” like reconfiguring your RDP and deploying Sysmon.

Many public sector IT and security teams find themselves under a lot of pressure to protect the sensitive data and critical infrastructure handled by their organizations.

Here are two quick, but powerful changes your team can prioritize:

Reconfiguring remote desktop protocol

In many cases, remote desktop protocol (RDP) is misconfigured by default, allowing public IP access and opening up an organization to risks like ransomware and man-in-the-middle attacks.

To strengthen your remote desktop protocol today, take the first step by making an inventory of your perimeter devices. Then, you can take the next few days to disable RDP on these devices.

Once your team has a better understanding of which perimeter devices exist within the organization, you can take other steps for using RDP securely, such as configuring network-level authentication (NLA) and following the principle of least privilege for granting RDP access. Check out Blumira’s glossary for more on these best practices. 

Deploying Sysmon

If your team hasn’t set up Sysmon yet, now is a great time to do so. System Monitor (aka Sysmon) is a Microsoft utility that tracks valuable endpoint information such as network connections, file hashes, process creations, and Windows Registry changes. Many real-time threats will first show up as abnormal activities in these types of logs. So tracking and monitoring all of these activities is a great way to catch threats before they have a chance to come to fruition. And the best part for resource-strapped public sector teams: Sysmon is free! You can follow these step-by-step instructions to install Sysmon in minutes. 

Start looking into grant programs that could bolster your cybersecurity budget

Quick win goal: Become better educated on the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program and feel better equipped to take the next steps in applying for funds. 

You might have heard about the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) and how it’s awarding around $1 billion to state and local cybersecurity initiatives. Taking advantage of this program could be a game-changer for your organization in the long run.

You can read through our grant program guide, Ace the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program Application—Without Going Crazy, as a starting point.

Try out Blumira’s free edition

Quick win goal: Implement a budget-conscious threat detection and response solution that can fulfill several public sector compliance requirements at once.

Threat detection and response is a commonality across many compliance requirements and security recommendations.

A few examples include:

  • IRS Pub 1075 CA-7 hones in on the importance of a system-level continuous monitoring strategy
  • CJIS Policy Area 3: Incident Response focuses on several best practices for finding and responding to incidents, such as monitoring for ongoing incidents (5.3.4) and obtaining information about incidents from “audit monitoring, network monitoring, physical access monitoring, and user/administrator reports.” (
  • The NIST Cybersecurity Framework has an entire step around detection, emphasizing practices like maintaining and monitoring logs.

The Blumira SIEM platform for threat detection and response can help answer many of these requirements. Plus, we offer a free edition of our SIEM platform, enabling you to detect and respond to cloud threats on up to 3 cloud applications with unlimited users & unlimited data.

It only takes a few minutes to set up our free tier—no credit card required. 

Start today, and your future self will thank you

While all of these actions might feel small, they will add up down the road, setting you up for future success. To learn more about public sector cybersecurity, check out our round-up of Cyberattacks on State/Local Government and What We Can Learn From Them.

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