How can you get the most from your public sector budget when finalising IT spend for the coming financial year? We recommend taking five key steps to establish stable foundations that will form the basis of your digital transition.

With financial year end fast approaching, public sector organisations are reviewing budgets and planning for the coming year. With efficiency and delivery for the end service user at the very top of the agenda, what is the best way to plan future spending to enhance your organisation’s technology foundations for maximum efficiency?

The Public Sector Landscape

As we reach the end of the 2019 financial year, the public sector finds itself in the middle of a turbulent period both politically and economically. This can make it hard for public sector organisations to establish where and how budget should be allocated. Unfortunately though, indecision could lead to downtime, data breach and the deterioration of end user services.

Government is the most targeted sector for cybercriminals in the UK, alongside finance. The National Cyber Security Centre recognises this, and understand that any downtime resulting from outdated or inadequately protected servers can bring inefficiencies. The body has therefore published a set of security guidelines and principles for public sector bodies to follow. However, cybersecurity teams across the public sector are struggling to uphold these regulatory standards, leading to a dangerous gap between best practice theory and reality.

So what can your organisation do to avoid paralysis by analysis during this critical budgetary period? At Six Degrees we have put together a suite of services that, when combined, help organisations prepare for the coming year and get the most from their public sector budgets.

Prepare For the Coming Year

Taking the following five steps will leave your organisation, its IT systems and its end user services in great shape for the coming financial year:

  • Undertake a cloud readiness assessment. If the movement of on-premise servers has made you consider your digital transformation journey and how you could move your workloads to the cloud, your first step is to undertake a cloud readiness assessment. Establish where you are on your digital transformation journey, and how you can adopt cloud in a risk-free manner.
  • Carry out a server healthcheck. By assessing the health of your servers, you can discover and address any points of weakness that could be exploited. Unpatched or outdated server operating systems are one of the key attack vectors utilised by cybercriminals. Close the gaps and improve your overall security posture.
  • Begin a regular schedule of penetration testing. Penetration testing establishes any external weaknesses that could give cybercriminals access to your systems. However, one test per year is not enough for organisations with ever-changing IT infrastructures. Six Degrees offers Dynamic Penetration Testing to ensure that your infrastructure is continually assessed for potential weaknesses.
  • Step up your patch management. Many public sector organisations invest in firewall and antivirus, but neglect regular security patching. Security patch management across your IT infrastructure, including network devices, firewalls, servers, applications and endpoint devices, is essential to ensure that the latest security measures are in place across your environment.
  • Implement secure connectivity. Public sector organisations operating in multiple locations should utilise appropriate connectivity and next generation firewalls to ensure there are no exploitable weaknesses. Six Degrees operates a secure Next Generation Network that has points of presence throughout the UK and Europe. We work with all major data providers and implement stringent security controls to ensure that organisations can maximise uptime, performance and security at all times.

Get the Most from Your Public Sector Budget

It’s not too late to assess your public sector budget and make smart decisions that will benefit your organisation throughout the coming financial year and beyond. Laying stable foundations is an essential step towards developing your digital transformation strategy, and Six Degrees has the capabilities and experience to help you with this. You can discover more about Six Degrees and our public sector offerings here.