Councils need more funding if they are to handle the rising number of cyber attacks, town hall chiefs have warned today.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said extra funding should be provided to enable councils and their local partners to increase their collective capacity to respond to hostile cyber attacks.
This would ensure they could continue to work together and share information relating to residents, patients and pupils securely and effectively.
Cllr Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: Protecting personal data successfully from computer hackers looking to exploit private information for criminal purposes in an increasingly digitised world is a top priority for councils.
‘However, as local authorities work even more with partners on national initiatives - such as the integration of health and social care, children’s services and welfare reform programmes - councils need to share more sensitive and personal information with organisations including hospitals, GPs, care homes, schools, academies, police and probationary services.
‘For this reason councils need to ensure confidential information is protected as securely as possible from the rising number of cyber attacks which can bring businesses to their knees, by putting their IT services out of action for days and compromising personal data.’
Figures show that cyber attacks have risen by 52% against UK businesses in the first quarter of 2017, with more than 700 occurring every day.