Why Does Local Civic Cyber Resilience Matter

Why Does Local Civic Cyber Resilience Matter

 

Technical advances create opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness. These include:

  • More engaging and efficient digital services
  • New ways to working including remote working
  • New ways to store and transfer data, such as mobile devices or cloud services

 
However, these also present more opportunities for attackers. The networks and public-facing websites of every Local Authority are threatened. On average, 33,000 malicious emails are blocked from accessing public sector systems every month and this is just one of the many different types of attack government and wider public service systems must defend against.

The scale of the targeting, coupled with the difficulty of monitoring all possible attack methods, means some attacks will get through!

Our collective responsibility is to both reduce the likelihood and the impact of such a threat succeeding. Foreign states, criminals, hacktivists, insiders and terrorists all pose different kinds of threat. They may try to compromising public sector networks to meet various objectives such as:

  • Stealing sensitive information to gain an economic, diplomatic or other advantage
  • Financial gain
  • Attracting publicity for a political cause
  • Embarrassing central and local government
  • Controlling computer infrastructure to support other nefarious activity
  • Disrupting or destroying computer infrastructure

 
Whilst the level of threat will vary across Local Authorities they all possess information or infrastructure of interest to malicious cyber attackers. Employees can also be targets for criminal activity. Across the country local civic and public service organisations are working hard to reduce these threats every day. The active support and engagement of their senior leaders is vital to ensuring the continued focus and profile of this work.

In the face of these challenges the opportunity to work together with the resilience sector on the role local leadership in a cyber-society and to develop a common understanding of what constitutes civic cyber resilience has never been more important.