Information Technology Request

The request was partially successful.

Dear Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please forward responses to the attached questions below.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as an electronic document.
If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters. If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Gloria Zimba.

1. Do you have a formal IT security strategy? (Please provide a link to the strategy)

A) Yes
B) No

2. Does this strategy specifically address the monitoring of network attached device configurations to identify any malicious or non-malicious change to the device configuration?

A) Yes
B) No
C) Don’t know

3. If yes to Question 2, how do you manage this identification process – is it:

A) Totally automated – all configuration changes are identified and flagged without manual intervention.
B) Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual processes and tools that help track and identify configuration changes.
C) Mainly manual – most elements of the identification of configuration changes are manual.

4. Have you ever encountered a situation where user services have been disrupted due to an accidental/non malicious change that had been made to a device configuration?

A) Yes
B) No
C) Don’t know

5. If a piece of malware was maliciously uploaded to a device on your network, how quickly do you think it would be identified and isolated?

A) Immediately
B) Within days
C) Within weeks
D) Not sure

6. How many devices do you have attached to your network that require monitoring?

A) Physical Servers: record number
B) PC’s & Notebooks: record number

7. Have you ever discovered devices attached to the network that you weren’t previously aware of?

A) Yes
B) No

If yes, how do you manage this identification process – is it:

A) Totally automated – all device configuration changes are identified and flagged without manual intervention.
B) Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual processes and tools that help track and identify unplanned device configuration changes.
C) Mainly manual – most elements of the identification of unexpected device configuration changes are manual.

8. How many physical devices (IP’s) do you have attached to your network that require monitoring for configuration vulnerabilities?

Record Number:

9. Have you suffered any external security attacks that have used malware on a network attached device to help breach your security measures?

A) Never
B) Not in the last 1-12 months
C) Not in the last 12-36 months

10. Have you ever experienced service disruption to users due to an accidental, non-malicious change being made to device configurations?

A) Never
B) Not in the last 1-12 months
C) Not in the last 12-36 months

11. When a scheduled audit takes place for the likes of PSN or Cyber Essentials, how likely are you to get significant numbers of audit fails relating to the status of the IT infrastructure?

A) Never
B) Occasionally
C) Frequently
D) Always

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

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your email.

 

This mailbox is primarily used for Freedom of Information (FOI) and
Subject Access Requests (SAR’s) as well as other information requests.

 

Further information can be found at
[1]https://www.bolton.gov.uk/data-protectio...

 

Your email will be processed shortly.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak you may experience delays when
making information rights requests. Please bear with us during this
period.

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http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

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Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Important:- During this pandemic you may experience understandable delays
when making information requests. Please bear with us during this period.
Dear Gloria Zimba,

We acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on 26 November 2021.

This request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and may take up to 20 working days to be processed (although we will
endeavour to provide the information as quickly as possible).

Please be advised that if an exemption applies to the information that you
have requested, the statutory period may be exceeded in accordance with
the provisions of the act.

Please retain the reference number RFI 009461 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many thanks

The Information Governance Team

1^st Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

 

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Gloria Zimba

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

In response to your request for information received at this office on
26/11/2021, please see the council’s response below.

 

You requested.

1. Do you have a formal IT security strategy? (Please provide a link to
the strategy) A) Yes B) No 2. Does this strategy specifically address the
monitoring of network attached device configurations to identify any
malicious or non-malicious change to the device configuration? A) Yes B)
No C) Don’t know 3. If yes to Question 2, how do you manage this
identification process – is it: A) Totally automated – all configuration
changes are identified and flagged without manual intervention. B)
Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual processes and tools that help
track and identify configuration changes. C) Mainly manual – most elements
of the identification of configuration changes are manual. 4. Have you
ever encountered a situation where user services have been disrupted due
to an accidental/non malicious change that had been made to a device
configuration? A) Yes B) No C) Don’t know 5. If a piece of malware was
maliciously uploaded to a device on your network, how quickly do you think
it would be identified and isolated? A) Immediately B) Within days C)
Within weeks D) Not sure 6. How many devices do you have attached to your
network that require monitoring? A) Physical Servers: record number B)
PC’s & Notebooks: record number 7. Have you ever discovered devices
attached to the network that you weren’t previously aware of? A) Yes B) No
If yes, how do you manage this identification process – is it: A) Totally
automated – all device configuration changes are identified and flagged
without manual intervention. B) Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual
processes and tools that help track and identify unplanned device
configuration changes. C) Mainly manual – most elements of the
identification of unexpected device configuration changes are manual. 8.
How many physical devices (IP’s) do you have attached to your network that
require monitoring for configuration vulnerabilities? Record Number: 9.
Have you suffered any external security attacks that have used malware on
a network attached device to help breach your security measures? A) Never
B) Not in the last 1-12 months C) Not in the last 12-36 months 10. Have
you ever experienced service disruption to users due to an accidental,
non-malicious change being made to device configurations? A) Never B) Not
in the last 1-12 months C) Not in the last 12-36 months 11. When a
scheduled audit takes place for the likes of PSN or Cyber Essentials, how
likely are you to get significant numbers of audit fails relating to the
status of the IT infrastructure? A) Never B) Occasionally C) Frequently D)
Always

 

Our response

Bolton Council has considered your request and feels that some of the
information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”). It is the Council’s policy only to
apply the exemptions where there is a genuine risk of harm or prejudice.

 

For  Q3, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, we consider that the exemption under section
31(1)(a) of the Act applies.  Section 31(1)(a) provides an exemption where
the disclosure of the information under the Act would, or would be likely
to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.

 

Releasing details for Q3, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9 could be useful to those
involved in online criminal activity as it could enable them to compromise
the council's information security strategies. This in turn could lead to
potential new routes in order to gain unauthorised access to council
systems, which is a criminal offence under Section 1 of the Computer
Misuse Act 1990 ([1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990...)

The council is a custodian for a great deal of valuable and personal data
and authorities across the country are already targets for malicious
activity as the recently publicised case in the following link
demonstrates:

[2]http://www.localgov.co.uk/Thousands-of-e...

 

Any attempted breach of our security and our systems could have a
significant impact on our ability to conduct business and deliver services
to the public and staff. Furthermore, these systems include amongst other
things highly sensitive information of a personal nature such as financial
details and health details of both public and staff. The breaching of
which would undermine the confidence both public and staff have in the
council.

As Section 31 is a qualified exemption, we are also required to decide, on
a case by case basis, whether the public interest in maintaining this
exemption outweighs the public interest in its disclosure. When assessing
whether or not it was in the public interest to exempt the information
requested for this part of your request, we took into account the
following factors:

 

Disclosure would demonstrate a commitment to transparency and
accountability with regard to the council’s undertakings. It may also help
to promote public understanding of how council funds are allocated
providing assurances that the council have good decision-making procedures
in place. The provision of appropriate training for staff which have a
responsibility in keeping the publics information secure would only
further emphasis this.

 

When looking at the public interest considerations for withholding the
information the consequences of a targeted attack on our network
infrastructure aided by the information provided here could seriously
disrupt the Council’s ability to provide statutory / core services on
which the public rely upon.  The Council has a duty to protect the
sensitive personal data of its own citizens and it is in the public
interest of these very same citizens that the authority undertakes to
maintain the integrity and security of the infrastructure on which that
data sits. A breach in the security of this data, could result in a
substantial fine being levied on the Council; something that is not in the
interest of Bolton ratepayers.

 

We therefore believe that the balance of public interest clearly lies in
not disclosing the requested information and so allowing us to effectively
maintain security of the data held about the public and to facilitate
public service.  In accordance with the Act, this email constitutes a part
refusal notice for this part of your request

 

Please see below for a response to the remainder of your request:

 

1.      Do you have a formal IT security strategy? (Please provide a link
to the strategy)

A)      Yes – No link available as it is a joint partnership strategy with
our Supplier.

 

2.      Does this strategy specifically address the monitoring of network
attached device configurations to identify any malicious or non-malicious
change to the device configuration?

A)      Yes

 

3.      If yes to Question 2, how do you manage this identification
process – is it:

A)      Totally automated – all configuration changes are identified and
flagged without manual intervention.

B)      Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual processes and tools that
help track and identify configuration changes.

C)      Mainly manual – most elements of the identification of
configuration changes are manual.

                        Pease see exemption above

 

4.      Have you ever encountered a situation where user services have
been disrupted due to an accidental/non malicious change that had been
made to a device configuration?

A)      Yes

B)      No

C)      Don’t know

                        Pease see exemption above

 

5.      If a piece of malware was maliciously uploaded to a device on your
network, how quickly do you think it would be identified and isolated?

A)      Immediately

B)      Within days

C)      Within weeks

D)      Not sure

                        Pease see exemption above

 

6.      How many devices do you have attached to your network that require
monitoring?

A)      Physical Servers: record number -                   Approximately
200

B)      PC’s & Notebooks: record number –                2700

 

7.      Have you ever discovered devices attached to the network that you
weren’t previously aware of?

A)      Yes

B)      No

If yes, how do you manage this identification process – is it:

                        Pease see exemption above

 

                        A)      Totally automated – all device
configuration changes are identified and flagged without manual
intervention.

B)      Semi-automated – it’s a mixture of manual processes and tools that
help track and identify unplanned device configuration changes.

C)      Mainly manual – most elements of the identification of unexpected
device configuration changes are manual.

Pease see exemption above

 

8.      How many physical devices (IP’s) do you have attached to your
network that require monitoring for configuration vulnerabilities?

Record Number:

                        Pease see exemption above

 

9.      Have you suffered any external security attacks that have used
malware on a network attached device to help breach your security
measures?

A)      Never

B)      Not in the last 1-12 months

C)      Not in the last 12-36 months

                        Pease see exemption above

 

10.     Have you ever experienced service disruption to users due to an
accidental, non-malicious change being made to device configurations?

B)      Not in the last 1-12 months

 

11.     When a scheduled audit takes place for the likes of PSN or Cyber
Essentials, how likely are you to get significant numbers of audit fails
relating to the status of the IT infrastructure?

A)      Never

B)      Occasionally

C)      Frequently

D)      Always

 

 

As per the Information Commissioners Office’s Freedom of Information Code
of Practice, should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal within
40 working days of this email to:

The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email: [3][email address]

 

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may
wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

[4]www.ico.org.uk

Tel: 01625 545700, Fax: 01625 524510

 

Should you have any queries, please contact [email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Chief Executive’s Department

1^st Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

 

 

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

Visible links
1. Computer Misuse Act 1990
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990...
2. http://www.localgov.co.uk/Thousands-of-e...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/