Charity sector cyber threats outlined by NCSC

Published on: 13 Apr 2018

A UK charity lost £13,000 after its chief executive’s emails were hacked to send a fraudulent message instructing their financial manager to release funds.

That’s just one of the devious tricks detailed in the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) first threat assessment of the charity sector which also comes with guidance on how to defend against possible risks.

The NCSC - a division of GCHQ - has promised to give the sector more help than ever before to defend itself from the most common cyber attacks.

Almost 200,000 charities are registered in the UK and the NCSC has revealed how their valuable funds, supporter details and information on beneficiaries are being targeted by cyber criminals.

The NCSC has also published a guide outlining easy and low-cost steps charities can take to protect themselves from attacks, with expert advice on backing-up data, using strong passwords, protecting against malware, keeping devices safe and avoiding phishing attacks.

Alison Whitney, director for engagement at the NCSC, said the organisation is committed to supporting charities and strongly encourage the sector to implement the advice outlined in its guide.

“Cyber attacks can be devastating both financially and reputationally, but many charities may not realise how vulnerable they are to the threat,” she commented.

“That’s why we have created these quick and easy steps that will help charities protect themselves to protect their data, assets, and reputation.”

Download the NCSC’s cyber threat assessment of the charity sector:  https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/cyber-threat-assessment-uk-charity-sector