Local Government Association calls for Budget to provide cybersecurity funding to councils

Written by Sam Trendall on 19 October 2017 in News
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Membership body for local authorities bids for money from the Cabinet Office

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been urged to use the Autumn Budget on 22 November to provide backing for local authorities' cybersecurity efforts  Credit: Number 10

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on chancellor Philip Hammond to use the upcoming Budget to dedicate funding to help councils invest in cybersecurity.

The membership body, which counts 415 local authorities across the UK as members, is calling for capital investment from central government to help councils improve their “incident-management capabilities”. The LGA’s bid for funding posits that this money could be provided by the Cabinet Office which, the organisation proposes, would also work with the National Cyber Security Centre and the Department for Communities and Local Government in supporting local authorities’ cybersecurity efforts.

This bid should be backed by the Budget on 22 November, the LGA said.


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Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “As local authorities work even more with partners on national initiatives – such as the integration of health and social care, children’s services and welfare reform programmes – councils need to share more sensitive and personal information with organisations including hospitals, GPs, care homes, schools, academies, police and probationary services. 

He added: “Councils have invested in a range of measures to protect their systems and data, which are tested robustly for cyber resilience, but face an urgent need to prepare themselves to better deal with potential incidents of more frequent and powerful malware.

“Investing in cybersecurity must be seen as an economic opportunity, and we urge government to allocate funding to councils to build capacity to respond to the growing threat of cyberattacks and ensure the safeguarding of personal data is as strong as possible.”

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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