Charities and cyber crime

Published by Peter Barton on 30 March 2022

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All computer users are at risk from cyber crime. This risk has been heightened by the UK’s involvement in mitigating the escalation of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). It recommends that all organisations should bolster their defences, as there are reports of hacking groups (apparently based in Russia) releasing new viruses and malware.

Please ensure your staff are reminded of their responsibilities in this area, as it is likely that any attack will be targeted at, or through, them.  They must be vigilant when opening emails to avoid hackers succeeding with phishing emails. They must also be careful when encountering any suspicious digital activity.

The Charity Commission updated its guidance on fraud and cyber crime in October 2021 and it is vital that charity trustees and staff read this guidance. It includes links to:

  • The NCSC e-learning training package entitled “Stay Safe Online: top tips for staff”. This training takes less than 30 minutes to complete and could help prevent an attack on your system. We recommend all trustees and staff to undertake this training as soon as possible.
  • The Cyber aware website, which has an online assessment tool to enable you to check how cyber secure your charity is.
  • The Action Fraud helpline explaining what to do in the event of a live cyber-attack.
  • The NCSC board toolkit, which has been designed for larger charities. It contains straightforward guidance and provides helpful questions to ask your IT team or provider.

It is more important now than ever before, in the current climate of world affairs, to protect your data and computer systems. Please ensure the subject is included on your next trustees’ meeting agenda so that trustees can address this topical issue.

If you require further information, contact us here.

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