Bradford Council will work with local digital innovation centre and businesses to pre-empt cyber attacks
Bradford Council is to collaborate with local businesses and the Yorkshire Digital Catapult to boost the cyber resilience of its website.
The council put out a call for interest to local SMEs at a recent launch event in Bradford, to find more innovative approaches to testing online council services in a bid to prevent cyber security attacks.
Specifically, the initiative aims to improve the ways in which Bradford checks its website for flaws and vulnerabilities through penetration testing.
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Penetration testers apply software that uses algorithms to hack a website to uncover suspicious activity, then take action where any are detected. However, there is a wide spectrum of techniques and can vary, according to Digital Catapult Yorkshire project manager Janine Hamilton, “from light touch to deep search.”
She said: “We found councils up and down country go through the procurement process for penetration testing and get the same kind of testers and a report at the end of it – but it doesn’t push the boundaries”.
Hamilton added: “There are some innovative SMEs out there with great software tools for penetration testing.”
The council and Digital Catapult Yorkshire are now looking for Yorkshire-based ‘innovative technology led businesses’ with specialist security accreditation to work alongside the council’s web team.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 June. Applicants will be subject to a panel review and winners informed by 7 July.
Hamilton said that the Digital Catapult funded initiative also aims to create a cross-sector cyber security community that includes the council that Digital Catapult Yorkshire can tap in to in future.
Digital Catapult centres aim to boost the UK’s economy through digital innovation, in collaboration with government technology body Innovate UK.