Councils still vulnerable to online attacks, MPs told

By Mark Whitehead | 06 February 2023

Councils must get together with insurers to work out how to protect themselves against the risk of cyber attacks, a leading security expert has warned.

National Cyber Security Centre founder Ciaran Martin told MPs that local authorities remained vulnerable to online attacks.

He told Parliament’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy that some councils could not afford insurance cover to mitigate the risk and warned that taxpayers could end up paying the bill if something went wrong.

Several councils have reported being victims of cyber attacks.

Redcar & Cleveland BC had no insurance to cover itself against the financial impact when it suffered a ransomware attack in February 2020, rendering its online services unusable for several weeks and costing the council an estimated £8.4m.

Arnie Armstrong looks at what local government needs to address cyber security challenges including a clear centralised plan to help organisations share data and expertise.

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