Charities at great risk from cyber criminals
Cybercrime poses the most serious threats to Australian and US charities, CEO and Founder of Your Digital File, Jamie Wilson has announced from his New York office this week.
Many charities, particularly smaller ones, do not realise the value of the personal, financial, commercial and other data they hold to cyber criminals. More importantly, they don’t have the resources to make sure that their data has been risk assessed and is stored and shared safely.
Charities typically do not perceive themselves as targets, but the value of the data they hold makes them vulnerable to attack. Unsecured websites, increased fundraising online, poor risk management and a lack of resources make them an easy target for cyber criminals.
The EU and UK data protection laws, continuing high levels of cyber criminality and growing use of online business practices by charities mean investment in cyber security is increasingly imperative for the sector within the UK. But similar laws are not in Australia, nor the US, and have therefore exposed many to great risk.
Whilst larger charities, especially those operating like major corporations are in a better position to allocate specific cyber security responsibilities and take a proactive approach to cyber security, small charities do not have the same resources and are greatly exposed.
Charities falling victim to a range of attacks can have potentially devastating consequences.
Cyber security does not have to be expensive, small steps include seeking advice on backing up data, using strong passwords, protecting against malware, keeping devices safe and avoiding phishing attacks.
Investment in cyber security in the first instance may prove cheaper than repairing the damage after a cyber attack, especially reputational damage.
Cryptoloc® is a world-class technology that will help charities protect their work, beneficiaries, funds and reputations from harm and we encourage charities of all sizes to make use of it, said CEO Jamie Wilson.
Awareness and knowledge about cyber security continue to differ among charities, but it is important that all charities protect the data they hold from cyber crime. Boards and management have an equal responsibility to ensure that management and those working in charities understand what the threats are, and what steps they need to take to minimise the risk of a cyber attack.