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Council cyber-attack cost estimated at more than £10 million

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have said that a cyber-attack that occurred early this year will cost the local authority an estimated £10.144 million.

The announcement was made in an early budget report that revealed the financial hit of the cyber-attack and COVID-19 will exceed expected support from the government by £1.648 million.

According to Redcar, the attack in February permeated "almost all functions of the council".

A BBC report estimated that 135,000 people were left without access to online appointment bookings, planning documents, social care advice and council housing complaints systems when the council’s services were knocked offline.

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The council offices temporarily lost use of their computers and email and had to resort to updating residents via Facebook and Twitter.

In their budget update, Redcar said it had industry standard tools deployed to secure its network at the time of the attack.

"These tools were configured to provide optimum protection and ensure our cyber security arrangements were appropriate to meet the standards set out by the Public Services Network (PSN)."

Since the attack, the council has made additional improvements with further upgrades planned. It is also now on the list of pilot authorities to enrol on a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) scheme which will provide threat intelligence information exchange between the council and NCSC.

"The result of all of this is that the council’s cyber defences will be far more advanced than most peers in local government".

Adam Carey

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