Cyber crime has a number of definitions but will usually involve attacks on, or through, computer systems and networks. It often includes theft of data or disruption of systems to enable further crime. Dependant on the nature of these crimes, trustees, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries of charities may be adversely affected. Negative publicity could also impact on public trust and confidence in not only the charity affected, but the sector as a whole.
How you can protect your charity
All charities should be vigilant to the threat of cyber crime and make sure appropriate defences are in place, including raising awareness with their staff and volunteers.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has produced a useful guide on how to protect from cyber crimes. It also explains how charities can become accredited under the government Cyber Essentials Scheme.
For larger charities, detailed advice for trustee boards on improving cyber security is available in the NCSC’s new Boards Toolkit.
HM Government also provides timely advice and guidance through its Cyber Aware website.
How to report cyber crime and fraud
If your charity has fallen victim to cyber crime, or any other type of fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by visiting the Action Fraud website.
Charities should also report fraud to the Charity Commission as a serious incident.