Charities urged to improve cyber security – as breaches continue to rise

Charities are being urged to improve their cyber security procedures, following a new Government survey which has revealed two-thirds of high income charities have fallen victim to online criminals.

The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 has exposed the true extent of cybercrime affecting the third sector.

Its figures show that over two thirds of high income charities recorded either a cyber breach or attack in 2018. Of those charities affected, more than 80 per cent admitted they had experienced a fraudulent email ‘phishing’ attack.

The Charity Commission has estimated that the cost of a security breach can cost charities anywhere between £300 and £100,000 and is now urging charity managers to use a range of readily available resources to improve cyber security within their organisations.

A guide produced by The National Cyber Security Centre provides advice and also encourages charities to become accredited under the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme.

The Charity Commission is also reminding charity trustees that they have a duty to report any breaches as a serious incident.

In a written statement, the Commission states: “We require prompt, full and frank disclosure of incidents. Serious incident reporting helps us to assess the volume and impact of incidents within charities, and to understand the risks facing the sector as a whole.

“Where appropriate, we can also provide timely advice and guidance, either to assist individual charities and get them back on track, or to warn the wider sector about prevalent threats.”

At Moore Thompson, we understand that cyber-attacks can place additional financial strains on a charity particularly where cash flow is already an issue.

Our charity team has experience in helping charities with their accountancy, audit and tax requirements and can help you to operate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Our expertise allows us to work directly with trustees to identify any potential cash flow or financial security issues before they impact on the day to day running of your organisation.

To find out how we can help put in place a robust financial plan which will help your charity to realise its goals, please contact us.