Local Digital
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Local Digital

Cyber Sprint Notes #3

Covering 10–23 March 2021

Welcome back to our Cyber Sprint Notes, an opportunity to catch up on the progress of the Local Digital Collaboration Unit’s Cyber team.

With the pre-election period around the corner, this will be our last cyber newsletter for a couple of weeks. Like many of you, our channels will be quiet than usual, however you can still contact us by email if you have a question or need support:

Cyber Health

During the last sprint, the Cyber Health team has:

  • tested content with users based on the Scottish Cyber Resilience Framework
  • tested if users are ok with having a login and a central store of data
  • explored different motivations for using the service

Several key findings have emerged from this first round of research:

  • Users are happy with a web application rather than a spreadsheet or tool that runs locally
  • Users are happy to create an account on a GOV.UK service, partly due to the trust and reputation that GOV.UK brings
  • There is a mix of users who want to have a single login for an organisation and those that want multiple-user logins
  • Users have expressed an interest in being able to save their responses and being able to download their results
  • Users have also expressed their motivations to use the service, including being able to understand their gaps, understanding their risks and managing them, being able to demonstrate to senior management their security risks and how to mitigate them

We’ve also agreed a list of assumptions we want to test in sprint 4:

  • We want to know if they would still complete other standard audits if they had this tool, and is it more useful than what exists?
  • We assume it’s useful to plug into existing standards (in questions or in recommendations) to reduce time in duplicating work

We’re still looking for user research participants from councils and supporting services — find out more and apply to take part.

If you’re working on a related project and are interested in collaborating with us, please email cyberhealth@localdigital.gov.uk.

Cyber Support

The team has been providing support, guidance and hands on assistance to implement cyber treatment plans, with 22 sessions across the cohort now scheduled. The sessions are in the context of each council’s needs and will run until 28 April 2021.

Cyber treatment plan progress to date:

  • 26 IT estates delivering council services
  • 24 IT estates received the funding amount they applied for
  • £4.4 million has been shared to support cyber enhancement

Active Directory tool

An Active Directory tool clinic was held on 12 March with the cyber support team cohort. 6 requests were made for enhancement, with 2 implemented to date and 1 in progress. 12 installations of the tool have been made since the clinic.

Vulnerability scanning

OpenVAS is a software framework of several services and tools offering vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management. A clinic was held on 19 March with the cyber support team cohort, which was well received and subsequent support sessions have since taken place.

Support artefacts

To date, we have written 21 artefacts covering the 7 areas of cyber security. These are based on best practices, support, guidance and the remediation needs of the council cohort participating in the cyber workshops:

  • 2 x Multi-factor Authentication
  • 1 X IT health check
  • 5 x NCSC Active Cyber Defence
  • 1 X Operating Systems
  • 2 x Active Directory
  • 1 x Logging

Once we’ve tested these, we will look to share them more broadly with the sector.

Join the Cyber show and tells

If you work in a national or local government agency and would like to find out more about our work, come along to our upcoming show and tells:

  • Friday 9 April, 11:30am–12:00pm — an update from the Cyber Health project
  • Friday 23 April, 11:30am–12:15pm — updates from both projects

Click here to request joining details. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for reading! For more Cyber news and events, be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the cyber newsletter.



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The Local Digital team is part of the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Read more about our work: https://www.localdigital.gov.uk.