Cyber attacks are increasing, and charities are not immune

Author: Jon Hunt, cyber security service delivery manager

During the pandemic, digital transformation has become even more fundamental across all sectors. It supports the way organisations operate, particularly with the evolution of hybrid-working. However, technological development has also provided more significant opportunities for cyber attacks, and criminals have stepped up their techniques with timed and targeted attacks. Unfortunately, it’s dangerous to hope that some sectors are left alone: schools, hospitals and charities have all been the target of costly attacks.

What can charities do now?

Cyber security threats must be considered alongside the traditional risks your organisation faces, viewed with the same importance as financial, health, and safety risks. There are, however, some simple things you can do to help prevent security breaches:

  1. Use strong passwords and do not duplicate these across your accounts; once one of your accounts has been compromised, any accounts using the same password could be.
  2. Don’t make it easy for attackers; use multi-factor authentication, where you use something else to log in alongside your username and password.
  3. Ensure your devices, operating systems and software are all current and up-to-date. The newest versions have the latest security updates, so try not to put it off.
  4. Implement training so your staff are aware of the risks and know how to follow security procedures.
  5. Take regular backups of your important data and make sure that these backups are recent and can be restored.

The National Cyber Security Centre’s small charity guide highlights ways to improve cyber security within your charity; quickly, efficiently and at a low cost. The landscape of attacks will always change, it’s an ongoing process, and you can always do more to protect your organisation.

Want to learn more?

Attend the Charity IT Leaders’ conference on 6-8 October 2021. Jisc is attending, so come and chat with us about keeping you secure in this changing landscape and through your digital transformation.

Book your free place at the Jisc security conference, 9-11 November 2021. We’ll be covering key aspects of security best practice and the latest threat mitigation information.

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