Hackney Council cyberattack: why are hackers targeting the public sector?

Following the news that Hackney council has been hit by a ‘serious cyberattack’, affecting IT systems and services, it is imperative that public sector bodies understand the threats they face from malicious actors.

With public sector bodies facing increasing strain in light of Covid-19, cybercriminals may be looking to obtain sensitive resident information and cause as much disruption as possible.

Terry Greer-King, VP of EMEA at SonicWall, comments:

“The cyberattack against Hackney Council shows that it’s not just private sector organisations that need to safeguard their systems against intrusion. In fact, public bodies often hold even more sensitive data than businesses, including information about citizens’ interactions with social care services and other sensitive Personal Identifiable Information (PII).

As well as ensuring services remain operational, the council has a duty to investigate what data may have been leaked in the breach and inform any individuals affected. When the source of the breach is discovered the council must fix the problem, including by upgrading their cybersecurity infrastructure and educating users and the internal workforce on the risks of remote working during Covid-19.”

 

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