Local councils are increasingly offering more services via online systems and in recent times the use of platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams have become vital in staying connected to our communities and having the ability to carry on with the day-to-day functions of the council. Of course, cybersecurity has always been a concern but now it is becoming increasingly important to have robust measures in place that will minimise the risk of an attack and plans in place to deal with such an attack should your systems suffer a breach.
Malware, is the term which commonly refers to any software designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer system and includes viruses, trojan horses, spyware, worms and ransomware which literally holds access of a system to ransom until an amount of money is paid to release it to the user. Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails purporting to be from legitimate organisations in an attempt to gain access to personal information such as bank/credit card details or other sensitive data.
It is therefore essential given existing and potential future threats that local authorities ensure they take the necessary action to ensure their systems are secure. The National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) recommend the following 10 steps to cybersecurity:
- Risk Management Regime
- Secure configuration
- Home and mobile working
- Incident management
- Malware prevention
- Managing user privileges
- Network security
- Removable media controls
- User education and awareness
As detailed in the government advice, education and awareness are key and it is with this in mind that the SLCC has just launched a NEW Cyber Awareness Course, delivered by Kaspersky, a world leader in cybersecurity in partnership with Microshade VSM, providers of secure cloud computing to the local council sector.
This online e-learning course will take place over six months using the Automatic Security Awareness Platform (ASAP) and will cover topics such as email, web browsing, social networks, PC security, mobile devices, protecting confidential data, passwords and accounts and GDPR. Attendees are able to work at their own pace, with the flexibility to study at home, the office or anywhere using a mobile device.
In total this comprises of approximately 8 hours of study and 4 CPD points will be awarded on completion.
The very competitive cost of this course is just £49 + VAT.