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Majority of councils ‘unprepared’ for cyber attacks, survey reveals

Only half of the UK’s local authorities are prepared for a cyber attack, new survey reveals.

The latest PwC Global CEO survey found only 53% of councils were prepared to deal with a cyber attack, and just 35% of council leaders were confident their staff were well equipped to deal with such threats.

For comparison, PwC’s survey showed 76% of CEOs were concerned about cyber threats and 97% were addressing cyber breaches affecting business information or critical systems.

The survey — conducted online between January and March 2017 — covered 106 local authority chief executives, finance directors and elected council leaders across the UK.

A parallel survey of 2,000 consumers carried out by PwC also revealed just 34% of respondents trusted their council to manage and share their data and information appropriately.

The issue of cyber security is increasingly important for the local government sector, particularly after the ransomware attack on the NHS last May.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) also recently issued Gloucester City Council with a £100,000 fine after hackers accessed council employees’ sensitive personal information.

The ICO accused the council of failing to repair a ‘vulnerability’ in the authority’s software — a decision the council is considering appealing.

For more on cyber security read out feature, ‘Cyber security must be managed and understood at all levels.’