Grimsby

£600k IT upgrade ‘will protect council for 10 years’

A nearly £600,000 spend to upgrade IT equipment will protect North East Lincolnshire Council’s computer systems from cyber attacks and viruses for the next 10 years.

The authority’s cabinet on Wednesday agreed to plans to bring its computer systems and security software up-to-date at a cost of £589,000.

The money will buy 620 licences of Windows 10 and 2,173 for Microsoft Office for all council computers.

Grimsby Town Hall. Photo: David Wright

Councillor David Watson told cabinet members: “As we know, those of us that have got old PCs Microsoft are going to stop supporting Windows 7 shortly, so really it’s a matter of the council moving on to increase protection.

“We’ll get any patches and things like that and it closes any risk down, in future years.”

Council leader Ray Oxby confirmed it made the authority ‘less vulnerable to cyber attacks’.

Councillor David Watson

Concerns over cyber threats have increased over recent months, particularly following major disruption to NHS services in May of last year when the international ‘Wannacry’ cyber attack 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 front-line services.

“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,” she said.