FOI request (FOI220446)
Requested Fri 28 July 2017
Responded Fri 28 July 2017
I am writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request information about cyber-attacks and cyber security incidents affecting your authority. Specifically, I am asking the following for each year since 2013: Please note: We are using the following definitions in accordance to guidelines given by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/incident-management
- Cyber-attack: a malicious attempt to damage, disrupt or gain unauthorised access to computer systems, networks or devices, via cyber means
- Cyber security incident : a breach of a system's security policy in order to affect its integrity or availability or the unauthorised access or attempted access to a system
1. Please provide details of how many cyber-attacks to computer systems, networks or devices have taken place. 2. Please provide details of how many cyber security incidents caused internal systems or devices to be infected or for services to be affected. 3. How many times have you reported cyber security incidents to: a) Police b) NCSC c) Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) d) Other, please provide detail 4. How many cyber security incidents have caused the loss/breach of data? 5. Please provide details of the cyber security awareness training provided to staff. 6. Please detail the number of staff trained in cyber security awareness. 7. Please detail what percentage of the annual budget has been allocated towards: a) securing IT-systems and networks against cyber-attacks b) training staff in cyber security awareness
Request Refused Notice of Refusal Disclosure of information relating to ICT security constitutes a security risk as it would leave the Council's computer assets more vulnerable to a malicious hacking attack. This means that disclosure would: • Make the Council more vulnerable to crime (Section 31) • Risk harming the systems on which the day-to-day business of the Council relies (Section 43) Section 31 (Law Enforcement) Section 31(1)(a) states that information is exempt if its disclosure is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. ICO guidance states that this can be used to protect information on a public authority's systems which would make it more vulnerable to crime. This exemption can be used by a public authority that has no law enforcement function: • To protect the work of one that does • To withhold information that would make anyone, including the public authority itself, more vulnerable to crime The crime in question would be a malicious attack on the Council's computer systems. Since the disclosure of the withheld information would make the Council's systems more vulnerable to such crime, the exemption is engaged. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure. Section 43 (Commercial Interests) Section 43(2) states that information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). Disclosure of information relating to ICT security puts the council at risk of a malicious hacking attack. This would compromise the Council's ability to provide its services and carry out 'business-as-usual' should our systems be compromised. Were our systems to be compromise, the cost of a system recovery would be detrimental to the Council's commercial interests. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure.
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