Councils risking personal data, study suggests

Research conducted by FalconStor has found that local authorities are putting the personal data of 3.5 million citizens at risk by not having a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place, LocalGov has reported.

A freedom of information request by the storage solutions provider, submitted to 429 councils, found over half of councils will make no further investment in DR this year. The FoI responses also highlighted that four per cent of authorities will decrease spending on recovery – despite the threat posed by issues such as ransomware and human error.

The research also outlined that in the past year 85 per cent of councils have not had to use their DR plan, making it difficult to know whether or not the plan is effective or how long it takes to recover data.

63 per cent of authorities have a minimum target time in which to recover lost data, with five per cent of those respondents aiming to have data back in one to two hours, 10 per cent in half a day and the remainder in ‘a day or more’.

Gary Quinn, FalconStor CEO, commented: “It’s encouraging to see the majority of councils have realised the importance of having Disaster Recovery plans in place.

“However, this research does highlight that more work needs to be done both in implementing plans and testing them thoroughly.

“Cyber threats are continuing to evolve and human error and natural disasters are not going anywhere – so it is important that public bodies and organisations alike don’t stand still when it comes to protecting data.”

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