East Ayrshire Council is leading the way in cyber security, becoming the first ever local authority in Scotland to achieve the Scottish Government’s Cyberessential Plus certification following a successful pre-assessment at the end of March.
Councillor Gordon Jenkins, Cabinet Member for Management and Resources welcomed the news saying “Sadly, cyber attacks are a constant threat to all computers, systems and organisations. Their nature constantly changes and they present a real challenge to our IT teams. Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme, which protects organisations whatever their size, against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.
“There are 2 Cyber Essentials certifications. Cyber Essentials certification involves completing a self-assessment questionnaire, confirming that you are protected against a wide variety of the most common cyber attacks. Cyber Essentials Plus requires that the verification of your cyber security is carried out independently by a Certification Body.
“The recently released Scottish Government Cyber Resiliency Strategy requires that we all become compliant with Cyber Essentials by October 2018. So far, of all the Local Authorities assessed, we’re the first to gain the Cyber Essentials Plus certification, showing that we have the highest possible level of security.
“This means all those who use and communicate with our systems can be assured that we are rigorous in our cyber security. But we won’t be resting on our laurels. It’s a fast moving world. The certification lasts for one year, so we’ll be undergoing another audit again this time next year.”
Andy Grayland, Chief Information Security Officer of the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, said: “East Ayrshire’s success demonstrates local government’s genuine desire to ensure that customers’ data remains safe from harm. Additionally, this achievement sends a clear message to those that wish to conduct business with the public sector: our future is secure, if you want to come with us you need to be secure too.”