Last month, the Government’s cyber security breaches survey revealed that 19% of charities have been targeted by cyber attackers over the last 12 months. Mike Rush, head of charities at Towergate Insurance, discusses ways to protect yourself from cyber security breaches, as well as what to do if you do experience a breach.
As a charity leader, you may not have given much thought to cyber security. But as hackers become more sophisticated and the government advises charities to redouble their cyber security, keeping security top of mind is more important than ever. Even a small local charity could be at risk of a cyber security breach if the correct measures are not in place.
A cyber security breach could result in the loss of funds or the personal details of those who have donated. Not only could this prove to be financially damaging, an attack could also by hugely problematic for reputation and future fundraising and donations. This blog post will explain how to protect your charity against this threat.
Protecting yourself from cyber security threats
Increase your own knowledge
Understanding the risks of cyber crime is the first step in being able to reduce your chances of an attack. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) states that businesses have 72 hours to report a breach of personal data or face significant fines. These fines could have significant implications on your charity so it is vital that you abide by this legislation. The Information Commissioner’s Office has lots of information about when you need to report a breach.
Update passwords regularly
This seems simple, but it can be an effective way to help protect your charity from cyber crime.
Be vigilant with emails
A lot of cyber crime is committed through the use of cleverly crafted emails which can be incredibly convincing and result in sensitive information being shared or even access to your computers being given to the criminals. It is vital that you train all your staff on how to spot bogus emails and keep them up-to-date on the latest information on this type of cyber attack.
Invest in cyber security insurance
Cyber security insurance can help to protect your business against the risks of a cyber attack and can even help to limit the damage caused by a successful attempt to access your business data. Specialist cyber security cover is available from insurance companies like Towergate.
What to do in the event of a cyber attack
A cyber attack on your charity can be incredibly damaging and stressful, but having a plan in place can help to limit the financial and reputational damage caused. Protecting data should be your main priority, particularly that which impacts the running of your charity. Here are a few steps you can follow in the event of a cyber-attack.
Keep track of suspicious activity
Having a record of the activity carried out by the hacker is very important. Monitoring this activity can help you to respond quickly and potentially limit the damage caused.
Secure your IT systems
It is important that you secure the systems to contain the breach and try to prevent it from spreading. This may mean suspending your network but it could prevent the damage from getting any worse.
Manage public relations
This is a key part of the response and can really help to limit the damage a cyber attack can have on the reputation of your charity. Not all breaches will become public but if donations and personal data have been compromised you will need to put out a timely, honest and accurate statement.
Inform your cyber security insurance provider
It is crucial that you tell your insurance provider of any attacks or potential attacks as soon as you become aware of these. This will allow them to get all the data recovery, damage reimbursement or other appropriate resources underway.
To talk to one of Towergate’s specialists and find out more about charity and cyber security insurance, call 01438 739741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.