It has been reported that an ITV News investigation into cyber security at UK public services has revealed an enormous disparity in defence budgets, hundreds of potential website vulnerabilities and the email addresses and passwords of staff at one council posted in full online.
“The public sector is a potential gold mine for cyber criminals, with personal and health information being a target for identity fraud and broader financial crime. The ITV investigation into public sector spending revealed a ‘disparity in defence budgets’ and many vulnerabilities, with one hospital spending just £10,000 a year on cyber security.
“Cyber-attacks pose a real threat to the public sector. According to ICO data analysed by CybSafe, local government accounted for 10% of all cyber incidents in 2021, and 5% of total cyber attacks, an almost 50% increase from the amount of attacks in 2020.
“Realistic funding, along with the right strategies, is vital to safeguard employees and members of the public. Public sector organisations must take steps to not only raise awareness of new and emerging cyber threats, but also provide effective security training and support.
“By equipping and empowering employees with the knowledge and know-how to spot and avoid attacks, the UK’s local authorities will be able to remain one step ahead. This isn’t just about technical defences, it’s about supporting people in their day to day lives.”