A councillor’s guide to cyber security

Cyber security is crucial to ensuring services are kept up and running and to ensuring the public's trust in councils with their information. A cyber attack could have very serious consequences - disrupting services and damaging a council’s reputation. Healthy cyber security is key to the efficient and productive running of every council.

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Councils are using an increasing range of technology, from apps and the cloud, to different devices and gadgets and councillors carry out much of their council business online.  Protocols and guidance are in place around data handling and sharing, however, as we have seen with recent cyber attacks, those with criminal or hostile intent will continue to try to breach organisations’ security to steal the data they hold and/or damage their systems.

Whilst the level of threat varies across councils, all possess information or infrastructure of interest to malicious cyber attackers. Councils should consider it a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ a cyber attack will occur. Therefore, all need to continuously review, refresh and reinforce their approach to cyber security.