“It’s nothing short of scandalous” as 40,000 plus EKH council tenants data placed at “significant security and operational risk”
“The servers that the [East Kent Housing] system runs on are due for replacement and the Northgate software is out of support. This poses a significant security and operational risk. Should a fault occur, we would have limited support from the supplier. In the event of a total service failure, there is a risk of data loss and recovery of the service would be both time consuming and complex.” and for good measure expensive to fix.
So says the s151 officer and Deptuy Chief Executive of Thanet District Council Tim Willis.
This supports what Cllr Tim Prater said at the Folkestone & Hythe Cabinet Committee on the 27th May.
See from 2m: 14s onwards.
The data is stored on East Kent Services systems who are an award winning public sector partnership providing ICT and HR services to Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council and Thanet District Council in East Kent. EK Services also provide ICT and HR services to East Kent Housing and the Marlowe Theatre.
Out of date software and servers are one of the easiest ways to attack a bigger ICT network – witness what happened to Kent Commercial Services recently.
The risk to all the tenants data; which cannot be sensibly ignored by all four Councils who own East Kent Housing, have set out the timeline and the costs for migrating the data, being run on servers, not compliant with the most basic data safety standards.
All councils agree the approach and funding and instruct Northgate to begin the process of migrating the system by the end of June.
The current system is collectively migrated to the cloud and tested by November/ December 2020.
Northgate prepares the servers for four separate systems and establishes connections to individual authorities by the end of September for testing.
The data is split into individual council systems in January and February 2021.
Each of the four systems is upgraded to the latest version of the software in March 2021, at which point each authority will have its own system under its own control.
This means East Kent Services – the award winning partnership, nor East Kent Housing or the four councils saw this issue before now. Amazing. Willful blindness springs to mind.