Health and safety more important than cybersecurity to UK councils

Councils spend significantly more money on training for working at heights.

Local authorities spend eight times more money on health and safety training, than they do on IT and cybersecurity training for their employees, according to new research. Citrix has sent a Freedom of Information request to 129 local authorities, and 109 responded. 

On average, they spend £27,818 on health and safety training, almost double what they spent last year (£14,061). For IT and security training, they gave £3,378 per local authority, mostly revolving around cyber-attacks and data protection.  

This fiscal year, councils spent nearly £1.2m on health and safety training, and £104,711 on IT security and data protection courses. More than four fifths (86 per cent) spent nothing on IT security training this year.  In the past two fiscal years, more than 56,000 mobile devices have been issued, with more than a third (39 per cent) being unprotected.  

“A broad scope of training is vital in today’s work environment. We commend local authorities for arming their employees with these additional skills, as well as seeking to improve their work / life balance through issuing smart devices and committing to a well-rounded programme of training courses,” said Jon Cook, Director, Sales, UK & Ireland, Citrix.  

“However, cyber threats continue to be more prolific and advanced today than ever before. And with the responsibility for managing citizen data, coupled with the risk of penalties of up-to £500,000 for data-breaches, it is crucial that employees know how to keep information secure from external threats.” 

“With the stakes so high, councils must ensure that staff understand the importance of data protection in the growing threat landscape.”