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  • Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Council's cyber security would 'stop eejit emailing members for Amazon vouchers'

Almost 400 malicious files were blocked from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s IT system, according to a report presented on Tuesday evening.

Members of the Audit Committee were told that 366 high risk files were blocked from the system during a three-month period from April until June.

The report stated that 733,523 emails were scanned during this quarter. No ‘ransomware’ was detected but 15 viruses were detected and ‘cleaned’.

Council’s cyber security status has reportedly remained constant with a ranking of ‘Protected’ indicating that the systems that are in place are “effectively managing and monitoring for threats” and there is “no cause for concern”.

Committee member Antrim Ulster Unionist Councillor Jim Montgomery said that the figures “look pretty healthy”.

“It is good to see we are coming out pretty well.”

He quipped that it would “stop an eejit out there emailing members asking for Amazon vouchers”.

He suggested that the council is “moving in the right direction” as far as potential cyber attacks are concerned.

Councillors heard that the system is to be tested internally to “ensure business continuity plans are robust and executed to minimise disruption to service delivery for our residents”.

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