The personal data held by local authorities for over 3.5m people in the UK is not protected by a disaster recovery (DR) plan, according to research published by FalconStor.
The lack of a DR plan could mean that should councils be affected by a cyber attack, equipment failure or human error, personal data could be permanently lost or fall into criminal hands.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which covered 429 local authorities also revealed that despite previous examples of public sector data loss and the risks posed by issues such as ransomware and human error; over 50% of councils will make no further investment in disaster recovery this year – 4% will decrease.
Additionally the research highlighted that in the past 12 months 85% 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. Despite this, nearly two thirds of councils (63%) have a minimum target time in which to recover lost data, 5% of those respondents aim to have data back in one to two hours, 10% in half a day and the remainder in ‘a day or more’.
“It’s encouraging to see the majority of councils have realised the importance of having disaster recovery plans in place,” says Gary Quinn, FalconStor CEO.
“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.”