Accounts exceeds thirty cybersecurity reports

Accounts exceeds thirty cybersecurity reports
Accounts exceeds thirty cybersecurity reports

The Audit Office has produced more than thirty reports on cybersecurity with the aim of serving as a “guide and incentive” for the entities audited so far, 13 of which are in progress and 18 have already been completed. This was announced on Monday by the president of the regional auditing body, Mario Amilivia, during the inauguration of the seminar on ‘Financial management and cybersecurity of public universities’, which took place today at the Hospedería Fonseca of the University of Salamanca.

In this regard, Amilivia pointed out in statements collected by Ical, during its intervention that, in the exercise of its functions, “the Court of Auditors must be able to rely on the data contained in the systems of the audited entities as the only existing support for economic and financial information, and for this it is necessary that there are efficient cybersecurity controls.”

Along these lines, he pointed out that “the recommendations made by the Council are key when it comes to serving as a driving force for the audited entities, and can be taken as a starting point by other administrations that want to improve their IT security.” In addition, he recalled that the body has expanded its auditing activity since 2020 to the field of new technologies, “being a pioneer, together with the Audit Office of Valencia, in the incorporation of cybersecurity into the universe of public auditing in Spain.”

Among the reports in progress are those on the analysis of the cybersecurity of the municipalities of Segovia, Soria and Zamora, which will complete the series of provincial capitals. At the regional level, the analysis of the cybersecurity governance of the Regional Health Management and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development is being carried out. Also underway, in collaboration with the Court of Auditors, is the audit of the programme for the digitalisation of the educational system within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

“We have found a great desire for collaboration on the part of the officials of the audited local public entities and also on the part of the political leaders,” said Amilivia, who explained that the contracts for improvement in cybersecurity are being made “simultaneously” while the inspection is carried out by specialized personnel “highly qualified” in this area.

“We do not announce the anomalies, but we present the reports partially because we do not want to be accomplices of those who want to ‘hack’ a town hall. When we take them to the Parliament, the entities have already had time to improve those necessary aspects. It is a sensitive matter and we act with the greatest caution,” he clarified in his speech.

Day in Leon

On the other hand, Amilivia announced that the Court of Auditors has chosen León to hold, on October 9, a conference to address the main challenges of cybersecurity in local governments in the Community, such as, for example, risk management and the obligations that, in this area, concern municipalism in accordance with European regulations.

As previously announced, the conference on the state of cybersecurity in local entities will be held at the University of León as a collaborating institution. A forum that will bring together experts in computer security, technicians from local administration, technology companies and universities who will discuss the challenges of electronic information security in local entities.

At the same time, the reports on computer security analysis already carried out and those currently underway by the Council will be valued in order to address the diagnoses of the controls observed in these entities and also the progress that is being achieved, as has been noted.

Public universities

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the seminar in Salamanca, Amilivia stated that to date the external control body has carried out 18 audits of public universities. During the current term, the Council has audited the economic and financial management of each of the four universities and their dependent entities, and has carried out another audit on the implementation of analytical accounting. Two more audits are currently being carried out, one on the positioning of the four public universities in the Community in international rankings and another on staff management.

The latest audit of the University of Salamanca showed a “good economic and financial situation” after cancelling its historical debt and complying with the recommendation to place the Social Council as guarantor of internal control. In total, the sum of the initial budgets of the four universities for the current year amounts to 774 million euros, of which 277.7 correspond to the Usal, “the most important in the Community and, from a historical perspective, the most important in Spain”, 262 to the UVA, 137.6 to the ULE and 86.2 to the UBU.

In the collaboration section, Amilivia recalled that the University of Salamanca and the Court of Auditors signed a framework agreement in November 2020 to promote training activities, specialized teaching, research and knowledge transfer with the implementation of the appropriate agreements. Thus, among the planned actions is the participation and holding of specialized conferences. And in this line, one of the strategic measures of the Court of Auditors is the one related to the promotion of activities related to the field of external control studies in coordination with public universities, as is the case.

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