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Cyber grapple

Nearly one in four (23pc) public sector organisations in the UK are unprepared for a cyber-attack, claims a ‘Trends Report 2017‘ by a tech firm.

The national survey of over 1,000 people in UK organisations is the second to be commissioned by British software and services company Advanced. Like the first, it shows how organisations are grappling with a changing business and societal landscape that includes increased cyber security threats, Brexit and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Nick Wilson, Managing Director – Public Sector, Health & Care, at Advanced said: “WannaCry caused massive disruption in the public sector, perhaps unnecessarily after a new government report has found the NHS attack could have been avoided. But an alarming number of organisations are still ill-prepared six months on. Our research shows a marked improvement (18pc) when compared to last year’s results (28pc were not ready for a cyber-attack in 2016). However, in this digital era, it’s critical every single organisation makes data security a top priority and indeed a deciding factor when adopting new technology.”

Tom Thackray, CBI Director for Innovation, added: “Without strengthened efforts to improve cyber security the undoubted potential of the UK’s digital economy will be unfulfilled. Cyber resilience is increasingly important for all companies across the economy. They must continue to move from awareness to action, by ensuring cyber security is a board level priority and making the right investments for their digital future.”

When asked about which technology public sector organisations are actively using, two-thirds, 67pc say they are investing in cloud-based systems (a 7pc increase from last year). Some are still in the decision-making process, with a separate Advanced report revealing that 33pc are looking or planning to adopt Cloud technology in the near future.

Plans have been made to help with the digital transformation of public services, of which the Cloud is fundamental. The firm points to the Government Transformation Strategy for example, which launched in January, that intends to make some of the most high volume services ‘digital by default’. It’s been hailed as the most ambitious programme of change of any government; which may explain why the public sector has little confidence, especially in terms of funding and budgets. The Trends Survey found that 81pc of organisations don’t think the Government has provided enough budget to implement the digital agenda.

Nick Wilson added: “The Government’s plans are ambitious but it now needs to step up its investment. Public sector organisations can’t run the risk of being held back in the digital era. The fact the WannaCry attack on the NHS was largely down to an outdated IT network shows that technology needs to be taken more seriously. The Government has a mammoth task on its hands, and it will need to work with trusted third party experts to help deliver a digital-first public service with the security and longevity to match.”

The full Advanced Trends Report 2017 can be found at:


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