The UK cabinet office recently ordered the Falkirk Council to step up its IT security protocol. The council actually faces a bill amount of £ 200,000 to ensure the effective implementation of the new order. The recent push in IT security has been paramount at all levels of the Government systems worldwide. At the wake of the NSA revelations by Snowden, many countries in the world found that their highly confidential information was not safe at all on the internet. The countries falling victim to the US snooping system also include European nations like Germany and France. These countries are currently in the process of closing the loopholes that led NSA to access their systems.
Now, Europe overall is a highly connected collaboration of nations. The evolution of the Eurozone is a direct evidence of the collaborative efforts between the countries. So, when a major European country like Germany beefs up its official security systems, other countries have to follow suit invariably. The situation has been largely ironic for the UK, which stays to be the biggest ally of USA. The authorities in UK have no means but to comply with the fast evolving IT security scenario. In this effect, the cabinet has been taking crucial decisions. The mandate to the Falkirk Council is also a part of these efforts to strengthen official security parameters.
The authorities in Westminster recently issued an official diktat that gave clear directions on ensuring top security method implementation into the cyber structure of the council. The council instructed that all laptops, desktops, and mobile phones must receive an immediate uniform upgrade to avoid any leakage of data through the system. The council is already in the process of implementation. The council also stated that it plans to segregate the network into several compartments under an interconnected uniform system.
Schools in the council area would have a different security arrangement from the official administrative departments. The IT head of the council, Fiona Campbell explained this move as a protective measure against the teenagers who often had more technical understanding than the network engineers devising the security systems. Separating the schools from the administrative departments would effectively safeguard the latter from the threats of intrusion, she elaborated.
There have been several major instances of IT breaches leading to hefty fines. The Aberdeen council had to undertake a fine of £ 100,000 when an employee leaked sensitive child social services data online. In a quick response, the Information Commissioner ordered the penalty to enforce the application of strong security policies. The fining has been very heavy on last year. Up to April 2013, the Information Commissioner levied £ 2.61 million in fines, of which £ 2.09 million belonged to the public sector. The private organizations were largely immune to the wrath of the commissioner, as only four companies had to bear the burden of penalties.
The Falkirk council confirmed that it takes IT security arrangements with highest seriousness and would arrange all necessary measures at the earliest. The spokesman of the council also stated that the directions from the cabinet office would be crucial in upgrading the current systems to meet the requirements of evolving demand. The company validated that only elected members would have remote access to the emails through encrypted devices, including the mobile phones.