In recent months, cyber-crime has received widespread media attention and charities are sadly not immune from online fraudsters.
The latest figures estimate that around 70 per cent of all fraud is now committed online, leading to it being described as ‘the crime of our times’.
Cyber-crimes can be complex, often involving data breaches or identity fraud.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport recently carried out research with UK registered charities to explore their awareness, attitudes and experiences around cyber-security.
It concluded that although charities often see cyber-security as important, there are many barriers that not for profit organisations face when it comes to engaging with the issue, including competing priorities for time and resources and staff not necessarily equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with the issue.
It also identified a need for basic awareness-raising amongst staff and trustees and upskilling of those responsible for cyber-security, so that they understand the basic technical controls they can put in place.
As part of a series of initiatives to help charities fight fraud, the Government has launched a ‘new and improved’ Cyber-security Essentials scheme.
The new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has taken on overall responsibility for the UK’s cyber-security also has a dedicated Charity and Public Engagement team.
Advice for trustees, including advice on the necessary steps they need to take in order to improve their cyber-security knowledge and protect their charity are available here.