SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Are UK councils prioritising data collection over security?

FYI, this story is more than a year old

A slamming report from Big Brother Watch paints a pretty bleak picture of UK councils' approach to cybersecurity.

According to Big Brother Watch, UK local authorities have experienced in excess of 98 million cyberattacks over the last five years, which means there are at least 37 attempted breaches of UK local authorities every minute.

Furthermore, one in four councils experienced an actual security breach between 2013 and 2017.

This is especially concerning when one considers how much data they actually hold. Local authorities are building ever-expanding troves of personal information about citizens and under the banner of data-driven government are seeking to actively gather more and more.

The statistics from Big Brother Watch gives rise to the question, is cyber security being appropriately prioritised by local authorities or is more data collection the main focus of their digital strategies?

Barracuda Networks senior vice president of international sales Chris Ross says they were interested to see the report from Big Brother Research.

“This mirrors the findings from our own FoI report, which we conducted last year, which found that more than a quarter (27 percent) of UK councils have fallen victim to a ransomware attack in particular,” says Ross.

“As the UK public sector continues its cost-saving push towards bringing ever more services online, an inevitable consequence is the volume of data on offer to hackers has increased.

Big Brother uncovered a number of startling findings, including the fact that despite the constant threats and actual breaches, 75 percent of local authorities do not provide mandatory training in cybersecurity awareness for staff and 16 percent don't provide any training at all.

And of the 114 councils that experienced a breach and failed to protect data from cybercriminals in the last five years, more than half (56 percent) did not even report the incident.

Big Brother Watch says this is simply not good enough and drastic changes need to be made.

“Councils need to play their part in the UK's data ecosystem and do their best to prevent successful cyberattacks. With the risk only increasing over time, it is crucial that they act now before serious harm is done,” the report states.

The group quotes a policy briefing provided by the Society of Information Technology Management:

“Cyber resilience is generally seen as an ‘IT security' matter in local government, not often treated as a major business and service threat, with top executive and political ownership. This needs to change.

Ross says while the numbers regarding UK local authorities are certainly disturbing, there is a silver lining.

“From our research we were encouraged to learn that the majority of councils affected were able to minimise the impact due to having a back-up system in place. But it's disappointing that so many of them fell victim in the first place,” says Ross.

“The UK public sector needs to ensure it employs a comprehensive cyber security strategy that protects all attack vectors and surfaces, in order to keep citizen data safe and avoid potential fines for data breaches.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Spike in demand for cybersecurity training amid skills shortage
"Organisations cannot just rely on cybersecurity professionals to safeguard the businesses’ infrastructure and protect their data."
Story image
Malware
OpenText reveals nastiest malware of 2022, with Emotet at the top
OpenText threat intelligence experts combed through the data, analysed different behaviours, and determined which malicious payloads are the nastiest.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The growing threat of CEO fraud and how to mitigate it
By posing as the CEO or other senior figures, attackers guarantee that malicious emails get employees' attention. Many employees are reluctant to question a request from their CEO, so they usually provide the information.
Story image
Security Information and Event Management
LogRhythm announces LogRhythm Axon and new solution enhancements
According to the company, Axon provides an easier way for security teams to achieve better visibility across both cloud and on-prem log sources, helping further establish a foundation for their security practices.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Swift successfully pilots its Securities View capability
The new capability significantly increases transparency in post-trade processing while preventing costly settlement fails; it will be widely available in 2023.
Story image
Ransomware
Commonwealth tackling rising cybercrime threat in Asia
Ransomware, identity theft, and virtual security attacks identified as growing threats to security and economic growth.
Story image
Microsoft
Yubico research finds concerning trends around authentication security practices
A new global survey from Yubico has found that 59% of employees still rely on usernames and passwords as the primary method to authenticate their accounts.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Malware
Mandiant uncovers malware ecosystem deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems
Mandiant research has uncovered a novel malware ecosystem that was found deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems by an advanced and suspected China nexus threat actor.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Data Protection
99% of security experts unhappy with tokenisation investment
Cybersecurity experts are looking for a solution that provides the strength of tokenisation while removing the friction that has accompanied it in the past.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Microsoft
A deep dive into a Corporate Espionage operation
In the last few years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the level of sophistication of cyberattacks, mostly thanks to the introduction of the profit-sharing business model for financially motivated threat actors.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Sysdig reveals a loss of $53 for every $1 cryptojackers gain
The 2022 Sysdig Cloud Native Threat Report breaks down supply chain attacks against containers and how geopolitical conflict influences attacker behaviours.
Story image
Firewall
Forrester names Akamai as web application firewall leader
"We continually monitor and improve our capabilities to defend customers from new threats, while enabling customers to protect evolving attack surfaces."
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda accelerates growth in its data protection business
Barracuda cloud-to-cloud backup protects against evolving cyber threats, such as ransomware, and is now transactable in the Azure Marketplace.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Partner Programmes
Trellix set to launch new unified partner program in 2023
"We co-developed the Xtend program with our partners to create the right business model for deploying Trellix XDR."
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Fortinet advances AIOps to aid the hybrid workforce
"We’re continuing our commitment to AI innovation by delivering AIOps capabilities across our robust portfolio of enterprise networking technology."
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.