The Local Government Association (LGA) has been awarded £1.5m to help councils defend themselves against hackers and other cyber security threats.
The LGA will use a part of this National Cyber Security Programme funding to carry out a ‘stocktake’ of existing cyber security arrangements within all councils in England.
The funding, which was provided by the cabinet office, is for the 2018/19 period, with an opportunity to bid for further funding in the autumn.
Cyber security is a growing concern for local government and councils are already investing in a range of measures to repel, block and isolate cyber-attacks, such as implementing firewalls and scanning software, training their workforce, and carrying out cyber resilience exercises.
As well as helping local authorities to establish good practice, the LGA’s ‘stocktake’ will allow them to identify which councils require additional support when it comes to cyber security.
‘Councils take cyber security extremely seriously, but as we have seen through recent attacks, there is a constant need to review and bolster cyber security defences where appropriate,’ said the chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, Cllr Paul Bettison.
‘Councils hold significant amounts of sensitive data which is why it is hugely important that we have the necessary protections in place.
‘This funding will be used by the LGA to help councils share best practice and strengthen their ability to mitigate against cyber threats.’