The National Audit Office, a UK watchdog, has revealed that almost one third (30%) of the applications used by the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural affairs are currently unsupported and no longer receiving security updates. Therefore, the major UK department is relying on outdated technology and IT infrastructure meaning that the resiliency of the services is low. This also increases the risk of cyberattacks, the National Audit Office says. The Department of Environment, Food, and Rural affairs is responsible for critical environmental services such as flood protection and disease prevention.
The report states that the Department needs a much larger digital transformation to address the service risks and vulnerabilities in its services, which the NAO classifies as urgent. The watchdog also noted that the department was only given the funds to tackle the problem in the government’s 2021 spending review. The funds apply for the period of 2022-2025. The funding has allowed the Defra to begin making progress on tackling digital legacy challenges.