Cyber attacks remain a 'constant threat' at Sheffield Council

Cyber security has been beefed up at Sheffield Council but officers say it’s a case of when, not if, there’s an attack.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:31 pm
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:50 pm

Security remains ‘a constant threat’ and officers have worked with central government experts on areas of weakness.

Director Mike Weston says: “Security experts consider it’s impossible to mitigate all cyber security threats and it is a case of when, rather than if, the council is hit by a cyber attack.

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Cyber security has been beefed up at Sheffield Council but officers say it’s a case of when, not if, there’s an attack.

“This means the council’s approach must be to minimise the chances of a successful attack and be prepared to recover from any such an attack.”

The council moved from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and this considerably improved its cyber security.

Other protections include a significant investment in Microsoft technology to reduce the threats associated with email and to protect Windows 10 devices.

The report adds: “Although the technical protection in place has improved, the council must be prepared to respond to any cyber security issue when it arises, and a potential ransomware issue is of particular concern.

“To reduce the likely impact, the council has made a significant investment in new backup technology in line with guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre and migration to the new system is currently in progress.

“The council has worked with third party providers and central government security experts to assess ongoing areas of weakness.”

Staff working from home has been particularly challenging from a security point of view but the council says bringing its ICT contract back in-house from Capita has helped.