A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that almost 70% of London boroughs are wide open to security breaches.

London councils are ill-prepared to deal with hacks and cyber attacks as it has emerged that 69% are using outdated software, including Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2005, and Windows Server 2000.

None of these operating systems are supported by Microsoft and no patches are available in the event of a malicious attack.

Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, who issued a FoI to every London borough, said:

“It is easy for organisations to become paralysed by the choice of security options, but it is absolutely vital to not neglect the basics and to deliver a solid baseline.

“This starts with reviewing and auditing their IT infrastructure and upgrading to supported software versions. Being secure in 2017 doesn’t necessarily need to see huge investment in advanced cyber security solutions, but it does need to be the year that we ensure our fundamental security practices are up to scratch.”

He then issued a warning to councils who fail to maintain the most basic levels of security:

“My advice to organisations in 2017, in the public and private sectors, is to get the security fundamentals right first – that’s where they should be investing before anything else.

“Unsupported operating systems are one of these fundamentals – failure to upgrade is putting your organisation at enormous unnecessary risk. The possibility of security breaches and potential data losses is much higher, as security patches will no longer be released to protect against vulnerabilities.”

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