Cyber

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

Cyber Support

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.

Read more about the Cyber Support project in this blog post.

Cyber Health

In February 2021, an alpha project began work to develop a tool and framework that will support local authorities to achieve a recommended level of cyber health. This will help local authorities to apply cyber security standards and guidance, and assess where they are against a baseline.

Read more about the Cyber Health project in this blog post.

Call for user research participants

The Cyber Health project would like to speak to you if you’re working within a local authority or a supporting service, and have responsibility or involvement within the following:

  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Strategic staff(BAs, project managers etc)
  • Service Managers
  • Chief Information Officers

During each one-hour session, you will be asked about cyber security at your local authority, and may be asked to review any early ideas or prototypes the project has been developing. Each research session will be held remotely via a video conferencing tool (Microsoft Teams, Skype or Google Hangouts), or over the phone.

Find out more and apply to take part in user research

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 show and tells.

Confirmed dates for upcoming show and tells

  • Cyber Health: Friday 21 May, 11:30am – 12:00pm
  • Cyber Support: Friday 28 May, 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.