When it comes to local government data security practices, public trust in their authority’s ability to keep their information safe is “dangerously low.”
This is according to new research by Zurich Municipal, which provides insurance and risk management products to the public sector.
In a poll of 2000 UK citizens, nearly a third of people said that they do not trust their council to protect personal data online.
Less than one in 10 of those polled believe that their local government bodies are well equipped to deal with a cyberattack and 31% lack faith in their ability to guard important information.
Although they fear for the safety of their personal data, citizens are still going online to pay council tax and check balances in rising numbers – but these people would no longer feel safe giving information to their authority following a data breach.
Outsourcing does little to assuage their concerns – three quarters say the practice puts their information at risk and only 18% said they would trust third-parties to securely handle their data.
“More and more people are now accessing council services online and via mobile, but public trust in these services is dangerously low,” claimed director of public sector at Zurich Andrew Jepp.
“Councils need to better demonstrate and communicate how they are proactively managing these risk to the public.
“Not only will this help to convince the public that online services are safe to use, but it will also help to avoid a potential crisis of confidence that could do irreparable damage to their reputation,” he added.