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You Can Help Your IT Support Provider Protect Your Organisation

As part of the National Cyber Security Program, a qualitative research with UK registered charities was carried out in February and May 2017. The research was commissioned by the UK Government (DCMS) – it aimed to explore the charities’ experiences, awareness and attitudes around cyber security. 

Some participants assumed cyber security was more of an issue for businesses than for charitable organisations. However, the research has highlighted that CHARITIES ARE AS SUSCEPTIBLE TO INDISCRIMINATE CYBER-ATTACKS AS BUSINESSES. It has also shown that “there is a need for basic awareness raising among staff and trustees, and upskilling of those responsible for cyber security – so they know the basic technical controls they can put in place.” Cyber Security Among Charities, Ipsos Mori.

Most charities recognized the potential danger of losing funds or personal data of donors and/or service users. These were typically seen as existential threats heightening the importance of being cyber secure. By contrast, however, the loss of non-personal (day to day) data was less of a concern. Some charities did not realize the potential negative impact on organizational continuity if non-personal data files were lost.

You might be aware of major ransom-ware attacks affecting establishments across the globe, recently. In the UK, 61 NHS organisations were significantly disrupted by global attacks carried out in May 2017. Ukraine was one of the first to report issues, and it’s been reported that some of the attacks had nothing to do with money – they were actually designed to cause maximum damage. Essentially, whatever their motivation, cyber-attacks create chaos in affected organisations. The research by Ipsos Mori came across examples of charities that had to spend a considerable amount of time getting their data restored after they had incurred cyber security breaches where non-personal data files were lost. For a small charity, an attack of this kind (or any other) can be especially difficult to overcome. Having said that, the good news is that most of them can be prevented!

Prevention is always better than cure. Continue reading this article to find out how to avoid  having to report frequent cyber security breaches to Your IT Support Provider.


The most recent mega-virus, justifiably called ‘WannaCry’, infects only machines running Windows operating systems. If your charity uses Windows, and you do not update it regularly or you’re not careful when opening and reading emails, you could be at risk. We strongly recommend that you migrate away from unsupported operating systems and software as well. On that note, Outlook 2007 will reach its end of life on the 10th of October 2017. The product will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Failing to upgrade before it expires will make you more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Click here to read more about Outlook’s 2007 End of Life, or get in touch for more information.

Ransom-ware attacks disrupt IT systems by freezing users’ computers and demanding untraceable ransoms to be paid for files’ restoration. In order to protect your organisation (outside of having sufficient IT Support for charities):

  • Run regular updates, migrate in due time;
  • Use firewalls and antivirus software;
  • Be careful when opening and reading emails: train your staff to do the same.

Moreover, regularly back-up your data, so you can easily restore your files should you be affected. Bear in mind that succumbing to hackers’ demands doesn’t guarantee files’ restoration.

Cyber-security may be a virtual issue, but when ignored it is extremely likely to threaten affected charities’ physical existence.

If you believe your current security measures aren’t sufficient to protect your organisation feel free to get in touch. We have been helping our clients (70% of which are charities) to prevent and deal with cyber security issues for over 21 years!

Do what you can to stay safe in cyber-space, or get in touch if you need OUR help.

E-mail or call 0800 008 6181 now.

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