TARGETED: Western Downs council meeting reveals info about cyber attacks. Pic: Supplied
TARGETED: Western Downs council meeting reveals info about cyber attacks. Pic: Supplied

Western Downs council meeting reveals info about cyber attacks

THE Western Downs Regional Council has been targeted by cyber attacks, it was revealed in a meeting when internal and external system audits were discussed by councillors at their latest meeting.

On WednesdaySeptember 23, at the Chinchilla Cultural Centre, Western Downs councillors passed a motion to ‘provide council with the report of the Western Downs Regional Council Audit Committee Meeting held 18 August 2020’.

This prompted Cr Saxby to inquire about recent cyber attacks on the organisation.

Cr Saxby noted that section 6.2.b of the internal report stated that council approve a risk-based audit plan be adopted for the 2020-2021 financial year in regards to cyber security.

The report reads as following, “January - March 2021: Cyber Security: Assess controls over data protection, network access and security. Test control measures against accepted industry best practice”.

Cr Saxby then asked Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith if section six of the internal audit report was in relation to recent issues the council’s IT team had faced.

“Will (councillors) get a report on how good or bad the phishing expedition was over the past few weeks?”

The council heard that section six of the report was in relation to a plan moving forward rather than what has already accoured, and councillors are able to be updated at any time regarding the cyber-attack.

The internal audit committee is set up to makes recommendations to council about any matters the audit committee considers to need action or improvement - the committee will also monitor and review the following; the integrity of financial documents, the internal audit function, and the effectiveness and objectivity of the local government’s internal auditors.

Chairman of the internal review board, and Finance, Corporate Services and Business Strategy Councillor Ian Rasmussen said as time goes on more information will be become available.

“There’s probably not a lot at this stage in the auditing process… later in the year there will be, so I would like to give an update... later in the year when I have more information,” Cr Rasmussen said.

More information to come...