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UK councils team up to address cyber security training shortfall

More than 30 UK councils are now delivering cyber security awareness training thanks to a highly successful collaboration between a project funding body, local authorities and a video production company.

Ten councils from across the UK were brought together by CC2i, which co-funded and co-designed the training, in a bid to tackle two of the biggest issues facing councils today: GDPR and cyber security.

The training was tailored to be specifically relevant to local government threats, needs and protocols.

Research from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) shows that staff are the biggest threat to cyber security, with half of the worst information security breaches caused by unintentional human error.

The resulting training delivers over 35 minutes of high-quality content across 12 modules, each lasting three to five minutes.

With modules covering phishing, scams, password management, offline security, GDPR and more, the animated, easy to consume approach ensures staff stay engaged.

Mike Greenslade, information security officer at Portsmouth City Council - one of the authorities involved in the project - explained that his local authority was facing an unprecedented number of cyber attacks but the collaboration gave them the ability to work with a leading cyber awareness filmmaker, as well as other councils facing similar threats.

“Sharing the costs was a key benefit of the collaboration, as was the ability to input relevant messages into the training to inform staff at all levels,” Mr Greenslade commented.

A representative from West Lindsey District Council added that the positive feedback from staff since the training programme was implemented “has been incredible. Staff are already coming up with some great ideas on how to build a complete GDPR and cyber security awareness programme based on the videos and the characters from them”.