During the period between 2013 and 2017, there were over 98 million cyber-attacks on local governments in the UK according to a survey conducted by advocacy group Big Brother Watch, in which 94.5% of local authorities responded.

This number is only set to rise as local governments become increasingly data-driven, with more and more valuable data created and stored.  It is essential, therefore, that local governments and public sector companies make moves to make all their operational software completely air-tight when it comes to protecting themselves from fraud and cyber-attacks.

Many attacks nowadays are Zero Day Malware attacks which exploit security vulnerabilities the same day they are discovered. The speed with which these attacks are deployed make them very hard for organisations to defend themselves against. In many cases, it is essentially a foot-race between the attackers and the security software to react to these vulnerabilities. If organisations have the right software to locate the broken code and create a patch to fix it before hackers have the time to exploit it, disaster will be avoided. If not, the ramifications for companies and their clients can be significant.

Local governments need to be pro-active in the steps they take to avoid cyber-attacks; as organisations which are publicly funded and handle so much of the public’s private, sensitive and valuable data, many would say that they have added obligations to make sure they are 100% protected against cyber threats.

Amongst local governments and public sector companies, many systems being run are not up to date which leaves vulnerabilities to be exploited by hackers. Moreover, there may be gaps in their security protocol which again leave a way in for would-be hackers.

When it comes to handling payment data, public sector companies need to be extra careful. Stolen card and bank details can be devastating in the hands of fraudsters. When choosing a payments provider, public sector organisations and local governments should select a provider with a strong and effective cyber security infrastructure which carries out comprehensive audits and malware checks on a regular basis.

Secure Trading’s payment solutions are bolstered by cyber security sister-company CYBER1, a multi-product and multi-jurisdictional leader in cyber security advisory and solutions which keeps businesses resilient, secure and compliant. We are committed to helping local governments and public sector companies prevent malware attacks by constantly running scans across all of our payment software.

On 28th November we will be exhibiting at the Local Government Procurement Expo, where we will be connecting with leaders from local governments and public sector companies and demonstrating how our cyber security measures are essential for keeping your data safe. To find out more, get in touch with us today on 02036912697.