It’s 8:00 am on a Monday morning, you grab a mug of coffee and turn on your computer only to have a screen pop-up alerting you that you and everyone else in your organization has been locked out, and all systems and information have been hacked. To make matters worse, you’re told to pay a ransom of $250,000 in digital currency to regain access to your own system; fail to pay and all access and information will be wiped out.

You freeze and wonder who in the world do I call to alert and help figure out our next steps. What to do?

Unfortunately for many public entities and higher Ed institutions this is becoming all too common. But help is on the horizon.

Did you know a network of public, corporate, and higher Ed professionals is available on a 24/7 basis to help you deal with such a crisis? It’s through the National Association of Counties (NACo) Cybersecurity Collaborative. The collective purpose of this network is to proactively strengthen America’s counties to better defend and protect themselves, their communities, and our economy from a cyberattack.

Consider this NACo collaborative as your entity’s cybersecurity SWAT team. It provides a knowledge-transfer platform that gives access to top-tier public and private cybersecurity professionals. Networking together, these professionals are able to give you the latest information, intelligence, best practices, and resources to counter a cyberattack.

Features include:

  • Daily security news and a security alert portal
  • Peer-to-peer exchange through community discussion
  • Real-time security task forces and SWAT teams
  • Online training, webinars, and live tech demos
  • Security research and a report repository
  • Membership directory

For more information, go to (https://www.naco.org/resources/cost-saving-tools/cybersecurity-collaborative)

In addition, NACo has gone a step further in offering a tailored cyber-education series through its Professional Development Academy’s Cybersecurity Leadership Program. It is a 12-week, PhD-facilitated, peer-based learning program focused on developing vital leadership capabilities. Developing the program involved over 3,000 executives, tens of thousands of hours of executive experiences, and some 150 focus groups. It is all part of a proprietary learning management system specifically designed to help public entity leaders improve their cybersecurity skills—and make them ready to meet unknown challenges.

To learn more, please go to naco.org/cyberskills.

As a fintech company, three+one® believes useful information we can provide to the clients we serve can help them better protect themselves—and those they serve.