Elected Members in Tendring District Council to become cyber ninjas 


Tendring District Council - like other local authorities across the UK - is facing an increased cyber threat. So alongside delivering new council-focused cyber awareness training to all officers, the council has decided to ensure their 60 district councillors are also up to ‘cyber speed’.


As a rule Tendring ensures their councillors have access to the same training as officers, but key to the decision to encourage Member engagement with the cyber package ‘Dojo’, was the incoming GDPR regulation as Data Protection & IT Services Manager, Judy Barker, explained;


“The Council views GDPR training as essential.  Not only because councillors have access to personal data in their role, but also so they can act in an informed way when supporting their constituents.”


As with the four officer briefing sessions Tendring are running, the Head of Cyber Security for Essex Police will introduce the training at an ‘all Member briefing’, to highlight the significance cyber threats now pose to local authority business, systems and processes.


“Whilst the training is council focused, it also resonates with people more generally - both officers and Members - in terms of their personal use of the internet, cyber security and data sharing.”


Tendring’s councillors have a range of IT skills and will access the training on different devices from smartphones to laptops, tablets and/or in the training suite.


“One of the key problems is being able to get everyone together at a given time and location. The Dojo videos remove these barriers by enabling individuals to view the training at a time and venue of their choosing.  Time is precious, but with all 12 modules taking only 36 minutes, this is no great demand on anyone’s time. And the beauty of the modular approach is that Members and officers can come back to them as required.”


Dojo was informed by work completed for the BBC, but significantly for Tendring DC - and the other 30 councils who have also deployed the training - they were co-designed and co-funded by 10 local authorities.


“Knowing that councils had input to the scripts is a real benefit. Cost wise – at a time where local authorities are having to make some very difficult decisions – the pricing structure available to us makes it an affordable, effective solution in terms of the numbers we need to train.”


Dojo covers a wide range of cyber topics including phishing, password management, social media, file sharing, offline security, scams and two specific modules on GDPR.


The Tendring Information Governance Policy Unit is chaired by the deputy leader, Councillor Carlo Guglielmi, and supports all cyber security measures to protect the Council.  A network of key personnel within the council work together to promote activities and cascade training to ensure take up. Members will access the training via the secure intranet and can be supported with one-to-one sessions if required.


For more details see: http://cc2i.org.uk/innovate/products/dojo/ 

Contact: dojo@cc2i.org.uk