Laura Sharman 20 September 2017

Councils face ‘crisis in confidence’ over cyber-attacks

Three-quarters of council departments have experienced a cyber-attack in the last year, with half falling victim to ransomware, new research has revealed.

A new report from Malwarebytes found 75% of those surveyed had been a victim of malware, virus or Trojan attack in the last 12 months.

A third of councils said their current technology could not protect them against zero-day threats, with the same number saying suspicious traffic could not be identified and removed.

The report - Cyber security: Threats and opportunities across local government – also revealed that legacy systems were making it difficult to integrate new systems and applications; with 72% of those surveyed saying it was a major concern.

‘It’s clear from these findings that there is widespread awareness of the threat of cyber-crime amongst high ranking local government officials but many are not yet confident in their ability to deal with it,’ said Anthony O’Mara, vice president, EMEA, at Malwarebytes.

‘A lack of faith in legacy systems has led to a massive crisis in confidence within local government, which only adds to the vulnerability of these organsiations. This, combined with a very noisy vendor marketplace, has meant many high-ranking government officials are now left confused as to how to best deal with these threats.’

According to the report, the top three concerns for local councils when it comes to a potential cyber-attack are: the loss of sensitive data (53%), financial repercussions (53%) and the expected impact on service delivery (41%).

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