Cyber criminals could cost charities dearly – latest research reveals

Ransomware cyberattacks are potentially one of the biggest threats to charities in 2022, a major study has revealed.

The report, published by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), outlines how not-for-profits can protect themselves from cybercrime.

According to Remi Bridgeman-Williams, programme manager at the FSI, a ransomware attack “has the power to inflict the most damage on your charity”, with breaches costing the average organisation thousands of pounds.

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious-software) that prevents you from accessing your computer and the data stored on it. The hacker will usually contact you via an anonymous email and ask you to make payment in return for access to your computer and files.

The NCSC does not encourage, endorse or condone the payment of ransom demands, as there is no guarantee that you will get access to your data and you will be more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals in the future.

According to the latest data, a quarter of charities experienced a cyberattack – such as a ransomware attack – in the last 12 months, resulting in an average loss of £8,000 per organisation.

To prevent attacks, charities should ensure that they are regularly backing up data on the cloud, do not use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) tools to access your workstation remotely, download the latest security updates, and educate your team on the importance of cybersecurity.

For help and advice on protecting your charity’s assets, please get in touch with us.

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