Vertical Markets

UK public sector IT survey

by Mark Rowe

A new iGov survey examines the IT security threats and challenges facing the UK public sector. The survey was completed by IT and security people from 172 public sector organisations across local government, NHS and higher/further education. The key findings are below:

– In light of recent high profile breaches, 85 percent of organisations have reviewed their security considerations
– Despite which, only 55 percent of organisations have IT budget dedicated to security solutions
– 69 percent of respondents are concerned about the rise of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs); however, only 18 percent of organisations currently employ APT solutions

Recent high-profile cases have drawn attention to the unprecedented volume of cyber breaches in every industry. As a result, public sector bodies have had to re-think the IT security and strategies that they have in place, while meeting their goals for service delivery. This is demonstrated by the survey, in which 85 percent of organisations say they are currently reviewing their considerations. 65 percent of respondents viewed malicious code (including hacking, phishing and viruses) as a major risk to their organisation’s service delivery, with data loss (55 percent) and data misuse (40 percent) also ranking highly on the list of threats.


Trevor Dearing, EMEA Marketing Director at Gigamon, a network traffic visibility software firm, said: “These organisations have access to some of, if not the most sensitive data in the UK – including healthcare records, personally identifiable information and even payment data,” said. “Thankfully, this study demonstrates a great understanding of cyber security risks and a high level of cyber readiness, with the vast majority of organisations confident in their ability to identify and remove suspicious traffic. The UK public sector still has some catching up to do when it comes to mitigating the most advanced IT security threats, but this is a trend consistent with the market in general as hackers turn to low and slow attacks which can be incredibly effective and difficult to stop.”

The vast majority of UK public sector organisations (82 percent) are confident in their ability to identify and remove suspicious traffic on their networks, across physical and virtual. Some 81 percent of respondents cited that they employ endpoint protection, while internet misuse by employees was deemed the lowest risk to respondents’ organisations – which points to confidence in mobile security as well as employee training or trust, according to the survey.

In terms of how UK public sector organisations are using and sourcing their IT security, 55 percent of organisations’ IT budget is dedicated to security solutions. Some 72 percent of respondents said they view location as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when deploying security, due to increased mobility of staff, users and applications. 46 percent of respondents said their security solutions were delivered by a supplier sourced directly by their organisation, 29 percent were sourced in-house and 9 percent via shared services.

Dearing adde: “Getting IT security right needn’t be a complex or costly undertaking. Instead, with the right partners and ecosystem of technologies in place, public sector organisations can place more importance on visibility to really understand what’s happening across their ever expanding networks.”

To download the full report visit:

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