LGA awarded cyber security funding

The Local Government Association (LGA) has been awarded £1.5m from the Cabinet Office to help improve and enhance councils’ cyber security systems.

Part of the National Cyber Security Programme funding will be used by the LGA to carry out a ‘stocktake’ of existing cyber security arrangements within all councils in England. This will help establish good practice and look at how this can be shared with other councils, as well as identifying those councils that could benefit from additional support. An increasing amount of business is being done online and councils hold large amounts of data about their residents.

Cyber security is a growing concern for local government and councils are already investing in a range of measures to repel, block and isolate cyber-attacks, such as implementing firewalls and scanning software; training their workforce; and carrying out cyber resilience exercises.

This funding will be used to help reinforce those efforts and share learning between councils and is for the 2018/19 period, with an opportunity to bid for further funding in the autumn.

Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, Cllr Paul Bettison, said: “Councils take cyber security extremely seriously, but as we have seen through recent attacks, there is a constant need to review and bolster cyber security defences where appropriate.

“Councils hold significant amounts of sensitive data which is why it is hugely important that we have the necessary protections in place. This funding will be used by the LGA to help councils share best practice and strengthen their ability to mitigate against cyber threats.”

Earlier this year, ten councils from across the UK came together to tackle two of the biggest issues facing local authorities today, namely GDPR and cyber security.

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