Peterborough council victim to eight cyber attacks in five years

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It says it ‘repels hundreds of attack attempts per day’

Peterborough City Council (PCC) has been subject to eight successful cyber attacks in the last five years, new figures show.

The authority says it “repels hundreds of attack attempts per day”.

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It responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealing the numbers, but declined to specify the types of attacks as this could “aid malicious parties” and “expose any potential vulnerabilities within our estate”.

Peterborough City CouncilPeterborough City Council
Peterborough City Council

PCC was also unable to provide figures prior to 2019 as its cyber security was then managed by government contractor Serco rather than in house.

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In a report published earlier this year, PCC ranked its risk of being subject to cyber security attacks as high.

“The council has been targeted by cyber crime and also by ongoing technological changes which remains a key threat to continuity,” it said in the report.

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“ICT is central to virtually all service provision and as a result the council is dependent on this service being delivered. Further tests are required to ensure that services can be reintroduced quickly and efficiently.”

The report, published in February, said a “clear plan” is needed to achieve this.

It also laid out numerous ways in which risks could be managed in future – including “limitations to FOI requests”.

Other examples include staff training on how to handle private data, appointing a data protection officer and introducing “robust policies and procedures” around all kinds of cyber attacks.

Controls already in place include mandatory training for council staff.