Cybersecurity for Cities: Protecting Your Community from Online Threats

May 3, 2024

Cities face a growing number of cybersecurity threats in today’s increasingly digital world. 

Cyber security concept. Man using application on laptop, closeup

From hackers targeting critical infrastructure to data breaches exposing sensitive information, it’s more important than ever for cities to have strong cybersecurity defenses in place.

The League of Minnesota Cities has launched a free series of MemberLearn cybersecurity courses designed to help members strengthen their cities’ defenses. The interactive series is broken down into eight parts, covering topics such as password basics, security settings, data management, educating staff, managing vendors, and incident reporting.

The series is comprised of:

  • Why Cybersecurity Matters (available now): Discover the significance of cybersecurity and its impact on your duties as an elected official or city staff member.
  • Types of Cybersecurity Threats (available now): Learn how to identify and avoid some of the cybersecurity risks faced by cities.
  • Password Basics (available now): Strong passwords are essential for protecting against unauthorized access. The course teaches participants how to create strong passwords and manage them securely.
  • Security Settings for Devices (coming May 2024): Devices such as computers, laptops, and smartphones can be vulnerable to attacks if not properly configured. The course teaches participants how to configure their devices securely.
  • Data Management and Creating Policies (coming June 2024): Cities collect a lot of data, from residents’ personal information to financial data. It’s important to have strong data management practices in place to protect this data from unauthorized access. The course teaches participants how to develop and implement data management policies.
  • Educating City Officials and Staff (coming July 2024): City staff members are often the first line of defense against cyberattacks. The course teaches participants how to educate their staff about cybersecurity threats and how to spot suspicious activity.
  • Managing Vendors (coming August 2024): Cities often rely on vendors to provide a variety of services. It’s important to choose vendors with strong cybersecurity practices. The course teaches participants how to assess the cybersecurity risks of vendors.
  • Incident Reporting and Response (coming September 2024): If a cyberattack does occur, it’s important to report it quickly and efficiently. The course teaches participants how to develop and implement an incident response plan.

Elected officials and city staff do not have to pay a fortune to familiarize themselves with cybersecurity; however, failing to get familiarized with cybersecurity basics may be costly in the long run.

Access the League’s free MemberLearn cybersecurity course