One would be forgiven in thinking handling data securely within local authorities would be a high priority.  This is especially so when LA’s have a designated government department to review both the handling and protection of data also known as the Information Commissioners Office ICO.

Contradictory to this, it is not the case! According to a recent article by Local Gov, they reported on a FOI request by the Software Bureau, whereby, “Only 12% of councils are compliant with GDPR”.

This is deeply concerning given the level of in-depth data for which regional councils are required to hold on residents and individuals for a variety of reasons. Furthermore and with mounting pressure to increase remote home working once again through the winter season due to COVID, educating employees as to the best methods of handling data securely is imperative.

Improvements in handling data securely within departments

Senior management teams in charge of local authorities should be compelled to discuss data strategies with employees to ensure that everyone is up to date and is aware of the consequences of compromised computer systems.

Basic checks such as updating passwords, creating systems which have 2/3 step identification, cleaning old devices of data before re-issuing to new employees, checking whereabouts employees are carrying out remote home working and drawing attention to the importance of the organisation’s privacy policy, will definitely go a long way to reducing the impact of a data breach.

Drawing on support from local authority IT departments – through support desks and training, helps to share the responsibility whilst further educating employees. Data should be accessed with caution at all times and employees should be encouraged to report anything that looks irregular.

Are you looking to implement a data protection policy for your business? Here at Crendon Insurance we provide GDPR data protection insurance and cyber security insurance for organisations who are handling data securely. This includes the access of customer / contact data on a day-to-day basis. To find how we can support you further please contact us.

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