Information Technology Request

The request was partially successful.

Dear Braintree District 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

Braintree District Council

Dear Gloria Zimba

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Request received on the
26/11/2021.

Reference 5780 has been applied to your request which will be looked into
and a response provided within 20 working days.

Should you have any queries in the meantime, please contact the Freedom of
Information Team at [1][Braintree District Council request email]

Kind Regards

 

Lucy Day

Performance & Improvement Assistant

Braintree District Council | Causeway House, Bocking End, Braintree, CM7
9HB

 01376 552525| [2]www.braintree.gov.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Braintree District Council request email]
2. http://www.braintree.gov.uk/

Braintree District Council

Dear Gloria Zimba

 

 

I am writing regarding your Freedom of Information request received by the
department on the 26 November 2021

 

The Freedom of Information Act enables access to information held by the
Council, subject to the exemptions contained within the Act. The Act does
not require the Council to create information to respond to a request if
the requested information is not held, nor to give an opinion or comment.

 

Please find our response to your Freedom of Information request below:

 

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

 

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

 

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? Yes

 

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?
Immediately

 

6. How many devices do you have attached to your network that require
monitoring? Information exempt under Section 31, please see below.

 

7. Have you ever discovered devices attached to the network that you
weren’t previously aware of? No

 

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

 

8.How many physical devices (IP’s) do you have attached to your network
that require monitoring for configuration vulnerabilities? Information
exempt under Section 31, please see below.

 

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? Never

 

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

 

In respect of questions 6 and 8, the Council considers that the
information requested is exempt from disclosure on the grounds that it
would prejudice the prevention of crime, by making information available
in the public domain of the systems the Council uses to protect and
monitor its websites and networks.

Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides that (1)
Information …is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would,
or would be likely to, prejudice - (a) the prevention or detection of
crime.

 

Section 31 is a prejudice based exemption and is subject to the public
interest test. This means that not only does the information have to
prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, but, before the
information can be withheld, the public interest in preventing that
prejudice must outweigh the public interest in disclosure.

Information Commissioner’s Office guidance provides that information would
be caught by this provision of the Act if it would make anyone including
the public authority itself, more vulnerable to crime including by
disclosing its own security procedures.

 

The Council considers in favour of withholding the information the fact
that cyber attacks represent a real threat to Council IT systems, the
information it holds and its ability to carry out its functions as a
public authority. The risk of cyber attacks succeeding remains despite the
anti-malware software, web filtering and website monitoring it has in
place.  The Council considers that releasing the withheld information
would pose a real and significant risk that it could be used by malicious
actors to conduct cyber attacks against the authority and assist in
criminal activity.

 

Individuals or organisations with malicious intent would be able to
determine the effectiveness of detecting such attacks with knowledge of
the Council uses, which could compromise measures to protect its IT
systems. Disclosure of information under a Freedom of Information Act
request is a disclosure into the public domain in general and is requestor
blind.

 

In favour of disclosure the Council acknowledges that disclosure provides
transparency and allows the public to scrutinise whether the public money
being spent on secure systems is adequate and provides sufficiently robust
protection for data. Transparency will also increase public confidence in
Government security. There is a legitimate public interest in knowing how
secure the Council’s systems are.

 

Public Interest test

The Council considers that there is a stronger public interest in
protecting its IT systems, information it holds, and its ability to carry
out its duties as a public authority. If the Council’s systems were to be
compromised, this would present a real and significant risk to the public
authority, and the functions it carries out for the public within its
area. In addition, disclosure of information likely to weaken its cyber
security would also diminish the effectiveness of its expenditure of
public funds on cyber security, undermining the public interest in
obtaining value for money.   Therefore the Council will not provide this
information. 

 

If you disagree with the Council’s decision in respect of your freedom of
information request or are otherwise unhappy with how the Council has
dealt with your request in the first instance you may approach Emma Wisbey
Governance and Member Manager in writing at the following address:
Braintree District Council, Causeway House, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex,
CM7 9HB.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you have a right of appeal
under S50 of the Freedom of Information Act to appeal against the decision
by contacting the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow SK9 5AF, [1][email address]

 

 

Kind regards

 

 

 

Lucy Day

Performance & Improvement Assistant

 

Braintree District Council | Causeway House, Bocking End, Braintree, CM7
9HB

 01376 552525| [2]www.braintree.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.braintree.gov.uk/