Dozens of NSW councils still without basic cyber security controls, audit finds – Strategy – Security

Maria J. Danford

Additional than a 3rd of regional councils throughout NSW are even now devoid of basic inside controls and governance preparations for cyber safety, the state’s auditor-typical has discovered.

In its annual audit of the regional govt sector, the NSW Audit Business found inadequate administration of cyber safety at fifty eight of the state’s 128 regional councils, nine county councils and 13 joint organisations.

“Fifty-8 councils have nevertheless to carry out basic governance and inside controls to control cyber safety,” the report [pdf] released on Thursday stated.

It stated this involved “a cyber safety framework, coverage and procedure, sign up or cyber incidents, penetration screening and training”.

Bellingen Shire Council was singled out in the report for its absence of a cyber hazard framework and coverage (a repeat discovering), as was Maitland City Council for owning gaps in its cyber safety controls.

Newcastle City Councils was equally found to have no formal IT procedures and methods for cyber safety, as properly as entry administration and incident administration.

Maitland City Council and Newcastle City Council had been also found to have no cyber safety awareness plan.

When the end result is an advancement on last yr, when 80 % of councils had been found to have no formal cyber safety coverage, the audit highlights the ongoing wrestle to tackle IT safety pitfalls.

The audit notes that while there is no need for councils to comply with the NSW government’s cyber coverage, “councils may possibly obtain it beneficial to refer to the coverage for further more guidance”.

Cyber Stability NSW is now functioning with the Business of Area Federal government with the Department of Arranging, Market and Ecosystem to establish an business-precise cyber safety coverage by July.

It follows a advice in last year’s regional govt audit that the Business of Area Federal government do so to “ensure a steady reaction to cyber safety hazard throughout councils”.

The govt has also due to the fact prolonged the remit of Cyber Stability NSW to consist of councils and smaller companies thanks to a $sixty million expense in the central cyber workplace last yr.

The peak human body for councils in the state, Area Federal government NSW, last yr criticised the govt for failing to assist cyber safety in the regional govt sector.

The audit report also found that sixty four councils “did not formalise and/or regularly evaluate their critical IT procedures and methods.

A further more 43 councils “did not execute a periodic consumer entry evaluate to guarantee users’ entry to critical IT systems” had been suitable and sixty eight councils “did not watch privileged accounts’ activity logs”.

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