Hackers 'Simply Searched the Site'

When the worst happens, is your site search ready?

It’s not the kind of headline any government or business wants.

“New Zealand budget leak: 'hackers' had simply searched Treasury website,” the Guardian wrote. “Suspected ‘systematic’ breach of embargoed finance documents was in fact a search on Treasury’s own website.”

Graphic: "Suspected 'systemic breach' was in fact a search on Treasury's own website."Long users of a Drupal-based CMS, the New Zealand Treasury perhaps neglected to fully understand the Solr search solution so often bundled with Drupal. It’s often a complicated afterthought for Drupal users, presenting a missed opportunity for improved UX -- and now, a threat to embargoed government data. (Our technical team just got back from DrupalCon and shared their thoughts on Solr and Drupal.)

Security and control over technical systems is a mission-critical imperative in government. When they are lost, citizens lose confidence in government overall. In this case, the intended impact of the 2019 budget was considerably reduced by the too-early release and subsequent hacking investigation.

Yet a search solution like Funnelback, developed within the Australian Government, can solve problems when properly implemented.

Your search should:

  • Provide insight into what internal systems are - and are not - part of the index;
  • Integrate with internal repositories and across digital silos while acknowledging user permissions levels and security requirements;
  • Alert users when certain search terms are ‘trending’;
  • Audit digital content for compliance and accessibility in easy-to-understand dashboards;
  • Integrate with campaigns, including easily promoting certain results and demoting or removing others; and
  • Utilize machine learning to intelligently respond to searches as they happen.

Users trained on Amazon, Google and Netflix will be disappointed with ten blue links in search results. They expect an intuitive user interface paired with the security they expect.

Funnelback is also CMS-agnostic, meaning that a well-trained and well-implemented search solution can last well beyond your current solutions, whether that is Drupal, Matrix, WordPress, or a combination -- or something altogether new.

Choose a search solution that works for you and your users, not one that requires a police investigation.

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