Cyber Security

About the Cyber team

The Local Digital Declaration includes a commitment to the continuous improvement of cyber security practice to support the security, resilience and integrity of our digital services and systems.

As part of this, in 2020 a dedicated Local Digital team began a piece of work to explore how MHCLG can support local authorities to reduce the incidence and impact of cyber attacks, and support sustainable cyber health.

What we’re working on

MHCLG are providing expertise and support to identify issues and gaps in local authority cyber security. We have begun by working with councils who completed the Mitigating Malware and Ransomware survey in February 2020.

We want to provide guidance, tools and good practice, and to agree a roadmap for cyber enhancement. This will increase councils’ resilience against ransomware attacks. This will also help cyber security professionals within local authorities to communicate with, and get future budget and priority, from senior leaders.

If your council has not done so already, you can complete the survey now.

Previous work

The cyber team wrapped up a cyber security pre-discovery in May 2020, and completed a more in depth discovery phase in July 2020. You can read the full pre-discovery report (PDF) on our website. 

Our main findings from our discovery were that:

  • There are many cyber standards, but no clear baseline.
  • An effective cyber baseline must encompass culture, leadership and ‘cyber first’ processes.
  • Leadership support is vital to embed standards and best practices across the organisation.
  • Leaders need to understand cyber risk to inform their decisions. 
  • Legacy technology is a critical blocker to achieving cyber health. 
  • There is an opportunity for councils to collaborate in order to achieve greater security.

You can read more about the discovery and pre-discovery work on the MHCLG Digital blog:

Upcoming events

As part of our commitment to working in the open, we will be hosting regular virtual Cyber Catch-ups in a ‘Show and Tell’ format.

Confirmed dates for upcoming events:

  • Friday 27 November 2020, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Thursday 17 December 2020, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Friday 29 January 2021, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Friday 26 February 2021, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Friday 26 March 2021, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Friday 23 April 2021, 11:30am – 12:00pm

If you are working in a national or local government agency and would like to join us, please complete the form below to receive login details.

Cyber Catchups: Request joining details

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Follow our progress

As well as Show and Tells, we will be sharing regular updates on the MHCLG Digital blog and Twitter (@LDgovUK). You can find our fortnightly sprint notes on the LDCU Medium page.

You can also subscribe to our cyber newsletter to receive monthly updates on our progress, as well as news relevant to those working in and around local government cyber security.

Have your say

We welcome further collaboration and input, so if you would like to share with us any strong evidence to support our research please email it to cyber@localdigital.gov.uk.