Laura Sharman 20 February 2018

Councils face 19 million cyber-attacks a year

Councils have been subject to over 98 million cyber-attacks in the past five years, a new investigation has revealed today.

A new report from campaign group Big Brother Watch found 29% of councils had experienced at least one security breach between 2013 and 2017.

Of the 25 councils who experienced a loss or breach of data due to a cyber-security incident, 56% failed to report it the report said.

The report also found that three-quarters of local authorities do not provide mandatory cyber security training to staff.

Jennifer Krueckeberg, lead researcher at Big Brother Watch said: ‘We are shocked to discover that the majority of councils’ data breaches go unreported and that staff often lack basic training in cyber security.

‘Local authorities need to take urgent action and make sure they fulfil their responsibilities to protect citizens.’

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association said: ‘Very few of these attacks actually manage to breach the firewalls or scanning systems in place, and councils are working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to make sure that their systems and processes are as robust and resilient as possible.

‘When it comes to data protection, local authorities take their responsibility to keep their residents’ data safe extremely seriously.’

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