William Eichler 02 November 2016

Local digital chiefs welcome Government’s cyber security strategy

Whitehall’s National Cyber Security Strategy provides a ‘welcome boost’ to local government efforts to keep their operations secure, say digital chiefs.

The chancellor yesterday announced the publication of the Government strategy for tackling what he described as ‘sophisticated and damaging’ cyber attacks.

The strategy includes investing £1.9bn in defending systems and infrastructure, deterring hackers, and developing what Mr Hammond described as a ‘whole-society capability.’

It also involves the creation of the National Cyber Security Centre—announced last year—to act as a single point of contact for both the public and private sector.

The Local Public Services CIO Council (LCIOC), representing IT and digital chiefs working in local authorities and other local public services, welcomed the new strategy, which they also played a role in forming.

Socitm, which manages the LCIOC, also highlighted the fact that local public services are being redesigned universally to become ‘digital’ and joined up at, and across, local and national levels.

They warned this not only increases cyber risks, but also opens up new avenues for national cyber-attacks via local digital ‘backdoors’ of inter-connecting systems and IT networks—a fact, they say, that necessitates local involvement in national cyber security initiatives.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Geoff Connell, president of Socitm, said: ‘We welcome publication of the Strategy, its positivity and direction of travel and are already working with the National Cyber Security Centre and the Department of Communities and Local Government on how central and local government can collaborate to improve national and local cyber security maturity.’

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