William Eichler 03 May 2017

Personal data of millions of citizens put at risk by councils

Personal data of millions of citizens put at risk by councils  image

Local authorities are putting the personal data of 3.5 million citizens at risk by not having a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place, research reveals.

A freedom of information request by storage solutions provider FalconStor to 429 councils found over 50% of councils will make no further investment in DR this year.

The FoI also discovered that 4% of authorities will decrease spending on recovery – despite the threat posed by issues such as ransomware and human error.

Additionally, FalconStor’s research highlighted that in the past year 85% of councils have not had to use their DR plan, making it difficult to know whether or not the plan is effective or how long it takes to recover data.

Despite this, nearly two-thirds of councils (63%) have a minimum target time in which to recover lost data. 5% of those respondents aim to have data back in one to two hours, 10% in half a day and the remainder in ‘a day or more’.

‘It’s encouraging to see the majority of councils have realised the importance of having Disaster Recovery plans in place,’ said Gary Quinn, FalconStor CEO.

‘However, this research does highlight that more work needs to be done both in implementing plans and testing them thoroughly.

‘Cyber threats are continuing to evolve and human error and natural disasters are not going anywhere – so it is important that public bodies and organisations alike don’t stand still when it comes to protecting data.’

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The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

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