North East Lincolnshire

Council to spend £600k to avoid cyber attacks

Nearly £600,000 is set to be spent on upgrading North East Lincolnshire Council’s IT equipment in an effort to avoid cyber attacks.

The authority is looking to bring its current computer operating systems up to date in order to be in line with the latest security software.

This means that all council computers must use Microsoft Windows 10 and Office to be fully compliant.

Members of the authority’s executive will be asked to approve a £589,000 investment into the software on August 1.

This will include 620 licences of Windows 10 and 2,173 for Microsoft Office for all council computers.

Council officers in charge of the procurement said that failure to invest in the new software would leave the authority open to security breaches and cyber attacks.

The ‘Wannacry’ cyber attack which hit the NHS in May 2017.

They added that without upgrading the current software, cyber threats would become “commonplace”.

It comes after major disruption was caused to NHS services following the ‘Wannacry’ cyber attack in May 2017 which left some hospitals and GPs unable to access patient data.

In a report, Sharon Wrote, director of finance, operations and resources, said that the authority must upgrade in order to continue providing frontline services.

It said: “The council must ensure we remain up to date with current versions of its IT operating system.

“This ensures we keep up to date and comply with security patches, the Public Services Network Code of Connection (PSN CoCo) criteria as well as remaining compliant with our Microsoft licence usage.

“By ensuring we are upgradeable and can continue to use the councils corporate laptop and desktop computers, we are equipped to handle cyber attacks like the recent “Wannacry” virus that caused major disruption and loss of service to the NHS.”