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Mitigating cyber attacks in the public sector

Written on: Jan 26, 2023 11:01:04 AM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed



An ITV investigation conducted last year into the state of cybersecurity for UK public services raised some major concerns. Vulnerabilities were found on hundreds of websites and the login credentials of staff at one council were also found to be posted in full online. Additionally, a huge disparity was discovered between the defence budgets of local councils, with one UK council spending just £32,000 a year while another spent over £1 million, despite the latter serving a smaller population. Worse yet, a hospital was found to have earmarked a mere £10,000.

Experts have already expressed concerns regarding the lack of clarity and standards that public services have when it comes to cyber security. Over the last few years UK councils have been hit by a shocking 33,645 data breaches as a result of human error, with the worst hit council reporting 3759 incidents since 2016.

The breach that occurred against Gloucester City Council in December 2021 is an example of what happens when crucial systems lack robust cybersecurity measures and adequate funding. After being hit by phishing malware, they were forced to take many of their systems offline. The ensuing disruption lasted over 10 months and cost over £750k to recover, affecting vital services that many of the people of Gloucester relies upon, including benefit payments, planning applications and house sales.

Fortunately, it is possible to prevent incidents such as this in the future by implementing a security awareness programme. Completing regular training module helps employees recognise suspicious emails and malicious links that they may otherwise have opened and clicked - putting passwords, payment details and a variety of personal data at risk. Our partner KnowBe4 goes above and beyond by offering simulated phishing attacks to really put the training to the test.

Further on from employee awareness training, you can learn more about our complete cyber security portfolio here.

To help keep your organisation safe in the long run, contact our expert team today to learn more at 01246 454 222 or hello@coolspirit.co.uk.

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