The Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) has begun work on a pre-discovery as a first step towards supporting English councils on cyber security.
The team in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Governmment (MHCLG) said it wants to identify and understand current threats and capabilities across local authorities, with the aim of providing recommendations on how the ministry could help them become more cyber resilient.
It said the work has taken on more urgency as the coronavirus outbreak stretches council’s resources.
The National Cyber Security Centre has already detected signs of an increase in attacks taking advantage of the virus outbreak, notably phishing emails and the registration of misleading web pages.
The pre-discovery will take in an effort to: understand what councils need; identify the types of risk and give them a relative rating; identify activities to reduce the risk and any gaps; and pinpoint the challenges that local authorities and their suppliers face.
Collaboration and learning
“This will be a collaborative effort, where we’ll work together with other organisations in and around local government, and build on the learning of the Pathfinder cyber security training programme,” the LDCU said.
The Pathfinder programme has been run with iNetwork to raise awareness of the main cyber security threats among local authorities.
The LDCU added that the work will be in alignment with the NCSC’s ‘Deter, Defend and Develop’ strategy.
“We want to deliver outcomes through an evidence based approach, so conducting user research with local authorities will play a key part in the work we’re doing,” the unit said.
It is aiming to complete the pre-discovery in eight weeks and lay the ground for an alpha service proposition.