Low Cyber Security Awareness in Government

A survey has revealed that awareness of cyber security and cyber crime is low across local UK government employees.

The survey was commissioned by security firm Sophos and polled more than 2,700 people in the police and local government. The research revealed only 41% of respondents thought their current IT security practices would offer suitable protection against the growing threat of cyber crime.

Almost half said they didn't actually know about cyber security, indicating a low level of awareness across the general local government workforce.

62% of respondents said they are planning to make savings by increasing or implementing shared services in order to split the costs with other organisations.

Only 30% said however that their organisations are exploring the consolidation of existing IT services to make savings, and only 9% are looking at consolidating their security services.

The research revealed 59% of respondents said the demand for more remote and mobile working practices was a big driver for change in IT, with 46% citing increased awareness of data security thanks to high profile security breaches.

63% of local government workers that were involved in the survey agreed that encryption was becoming more of a necessity in their organisation.

Regional vice president of Sophos UK and Ireland, James Vyvyan, said: "With cyber crime at an all-time high and public sector budgets reducing year on year, it's more important than ever that organisations maximise the resources available to them.

"There is a clear trend towards local authorities partnering with neighbouring authorities to increase and implement shared services. This collaborative approach is certainly helpful in the fight against cyber crime. Our research indicates that local authorities and police may also be missing the opportunity to consolidate their IT and security technologies, which can deliver further savings, helping to protect jobs and frontline services."

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