Policy News

Preventing Charity Cyber Crime: Insights and Action

A research report about cyber crime in registered charities in England and Wales, containing insights and actions to help prevent cyber crime.

This research report was published by the Charity Commission to provide an overview of cyber-crime affecting charities in England and Wales. The report is based on a survey sent out to 15,000 charities, which garnered 3,300 responses (a 22% response rate), making this report the largest ever of cyber-crime in the UK charity sector.

The report finds that 58% of charities think cyber-crime is a major risk to the charity sector, and that 22% believe cyber-crime is a greater risk to the charity sector than other sectors. The report states that charities are increasingly aware of the risk of cyber-crime, with larger charities more likely to appreciate the threat, but that many small and medium sized charities are less aware of the cyber-crime threat, despite probably being more at risk.

The report therefore sets a ‘cyber-crime prevention checklist’ to enable charity trustees, staff and volunteers to conduct a simplified overview of whether their organisation has the necessary procedures in place to pre-empt and tackle cyber-crime. The points are as follows:

  • Acknowledge the increasing threat from cyber-crime and the harm it can cause.
  • Clarify responsibility for managing the risk of cyber-crime.
  • Raise awareness of the cyber threat and encourage trustees, staff and volunteers to raise concerns, especially regarding phishing attacks and malicious emails.
  • Report successful cyber-attacks to the Board and to appropriate external regulators, including the police and Charity Commission.
  • Aim to be open and transparent when dealing with cyber-crime, adopting a pro-active approach that prioritises prevention arrangements.

The document has been published alongside a similar report concerned with preventing charity fraud.

Click here to read the report in full.

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