Scottish local authorities are set to benefit from a £7 million cybersecurity operations centre solution – including a detection response service.

Procurement body Scotland Excel is seeking a partner ‘who can help implement and monitor a managed security operations centre solution, and respond to security events as they arise’.

The solution will be a ‘common platform to provide visibility of security events from multiple sources in both the cloud and on-premises environment of the contracting local authority’.

According to a prior information notice on the Public Contracts Scotland website, the service will also provide a 24/7 365-days-a-year monitoring of the platform and will take ‘agreed upon delegated actions within agreed SLAs based on the categorisation of the security event’.

The solution is expected to be based on Microsoft 365 technologies that allow source log files to be held within the Local Authority. It will be available to all 32 local authorities in Scotland.

The solution will provide a common platform to enable and simplify councils’ approach to cyber and provide associate members of Scotland Excel with a sound security cloud-based system.

Scotland Excel, in cooperation with the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government has been consulting with Scottish councils and other public bodies that are interested in a Security Operations Centre and managed detection and response service on the collaborative procurement of a framework.

The news follows a recent ransomware incident which impacted systems at Western Isles Council. The November cyberattack led to a police investigation and support from the National Cyber Security Centre. Council leaders had to initiate a series of workarounds as systems were taken offline – impacting services including benefits payments.