Weeknote w/c 21 October: a bit of security and resilience

Security is for all of us

We had our latest ICT security group meeting at the start of the week. One of the things that stood out to me was the need to make sure that we are consistent in remembering that we are all the ‘IT security team’. In some organisations the burden of responsibility for security falls on the IT security lead, but I think this is unwise. Even if we don’t realise it, we will all be making decisions and taking actions every day that will have implications for the security of our data and systems. Coming together regularly in our security group helps us to make sure that all of our teams are thinking about the part they are playing to keep data safe.

We’ve done good work over the last couple of years putting in place a robust security approach but we need to make sure that we continue to make security a priority and work to improve further – security risks change quickly and as we move towards adopting cloud technologies we need to make sure we are keeping up to date. If you haven’t already attended one of Mac’s security briefings please keep an eye out for the next one and make sure you go along!

Designing resilience into the system

I was pleased with our response to the major break in the Council’s fibre network, which affected a number of crucial teams towards the east of the borough at the start of the week. As well as excellent team working between our infrastructure team and the CCTV team who manage the fibre network, I was also pleased to see that the approach we have been taking to make it easy to access Hackney’s systems from any device, anywhere, any time helped the affected services continue to get their work done with limited disruption.

Thank you also to everyone who made colleagues from the commercial waste team feel welcomed when they relocated into our office on Tuesday while the network connection at their usual base was down.

I also…

  • Published my write up from the recent discussion groups I held on inclusion: https://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/thinking-and-acting-inclusively.
  • Caught up with our software licencing work. We’re getting on top of the complexity of this (with useful help from the Crown Commercial Service team and colleagues at other councils to learn from their work) and are getting helpful support from our colleagues in procurement to make sure we’re lining up with the Council’s procurement processes.
  • Caught up with HackIT alumna Sarah, who’s moved to a role in the NHS. It was good to hear that this is going well and that she’s already introducing the user-centred approach to information governance that she has led with the HackIT team into her new organisation.
  • Had the best part of a whole day for desk based work on Thursday. This is unusual and I tried to make sure that I didn’t squander it.

Something I’m learning

I got some useful feedback on a piece of writing I’d done. I like to make sure that I write things in a clear way, with clear reasoning and conclusions. But it was pointed out to me that this can give the impression that I’ve made my mind up and am not open to alternative suggestions and ideas. I need to remember that sometimes making things a bit more ‘messy’ might be a good thing.