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Many businesses will have shifted to remote working throughout the pandemic. Parts of the charity sector were no exception, with 95% saying they were working from home. But this can bring with it many risks and potential vulnerabilities to an organisation. Yet, 45% of charities said they had taken no extra precautions to protect staff from cyber attacks while working from home. 

These can be devastating. They can cost you thousands, result in data being permanently lost, and seriously damage revenue and reputation. 

Many charities don’t realise that they too can fall victim to cyber attacks, believing criminals only target larger corporations. Yet a third of charities experienced a cyber attack in the last 12 months. So with no one safe from cybercriminals, here are the top three reasons to keep your charity cyber secure.

Revenue

Cyber attacks vary massively. You could fall victim to a phishing scam or you could be the victim of ransomware. Ransomware is malware that steals your data and refuses to return it unless you pay a sum. Paying the ransom itself can be costly, but attacks can also put your charity on hold. With data lost and systems at a standstill, your shop may have to shut until it’s taken care of. And this can weigh heavily on a charity’s revenue and profits.

Cyber attacks can also lead to the loss of customers. Some customers will not trust organisations that can’t protect their data, and may decide to support other causes instead.

Productivity 

Following an attack, you may have to restore data, fix systems, improve security for the future, inform supporters and customers if their personal data has been compromised, and clean up the PR mess. It’s a killer of productivity. This is time that could be better spent bringing in money for your charity.

It may also affect morale amongst your staff and volunteers. They want the best for the charity and it’s never easy to suffer a huge setback, especially if it undoes their hard work. And if their data is caught up in the attack too, that’s one more factor to worry about.

Reputation 

No one wants their personal information leaked. Cyber criminals can steal your customers’ and donors’ sensitive information like addresses and card details. If this happened, they would be understandably upset and unlikely to trust your charity again.

Bad PR can damage the charity’s reputation further if it becomes apparent that security measures were perhaps overlooked. The word might spread that your charity does not do enough to protect its supporters, which can be a difficult accusation to overcome.

It may seem that cyber attacks only happen to the big corporations, but that is simply not the case. And during the pandemic, with working from home and increased anxiety for criminals to exploit, attacks have only become more common. Are you ready to protect your charity?

Nisyst Cyber Security has been at the forefront of the UK tech scene for almost 30 years. Protect your charity from cyber attacks today. Call us on 01204 706 000.

Cyber security should be at the top of the agenda for any business, right behind making a profit. In this technology-driven world, cyber attacks are all too common, so you can never be too careful.

How do you think your cybersecurity measures stack up? Why not take our quick quiz to see how your business is doing and if you have any vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited? Let’s dive right in…

Q1: Some businesses are too small for cyber criminals to care about.

  1. True
  2. False

This is false. The attacks on big corporations are the most publicised, but that doesn’t mean cyber criminals don’t target smaller businesses too. In fact, research suggests SMEs are actually just as likely to be attacked

Q2: How often should a business conduct cybersecurity training? 

  1. Once when first operational
  2. Once a year
  3. Every 4-6 months

Industry best practice suggests you conduct cyber security training roughly every 4-6 months. After 4 months, employees still seem to remember what they learned, but begin to forget around the 6-month mark. This study focused specifically on the employee’s memory for phishing attacks, which account for around half of all cyber attacks and are recognised as the top cause of data breaches.

Q3: Offsite backups are essential.

  1. True
  2. False

That’s true. Offsite backups are incredibly important. Yet 10% of organisations aren’t backing up their data at all. Offsite backups offer a solution if you’re ever the victim of ransomware, a data breach, or even in the event of a disaster that could destroy systems, such as an earthquake, fire, or flood. Offsite backups can’t prevent attacks, but they mean you still have your data if someone tries to steal or delete it. You never know what might happen.

Q4: Working from home reduces cyber security threats.

  1. True
  2. False

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Working from home poses different risks than working in the office. 20% of businesses have suffered a breach because of the actions of a remote worker since the lockdown began. Employees might have weak setups, they might share their work device with others, or they might simply just be unaware of how to spot risks. This is why it’s so important to keep employees up-to-date with cyber security training.

A cyber attack can compromise a business, ruining its reputation and costing thousands. But all this can easily be avoided by simply taking the time to ensure your business has the strongest line of defence against attackers. 

Don’t know where to start? Leave it to the experts. Nisyst Cyber Security is dedicated to providing innovative and up-to-date security solutions. For more information, call us on 01204 706000.