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Organisations are increasingly becoming victims of criminal fraud and cyber attacks. You may know of an individual or organisation that has been the victim of fraud or a cyber attack, or your charity may have found itself a victim. It is essential that organisations, including charities, protect their assets, data and reputation.
Recent guidance has been circulated by the National Cyber Security Centre (“NCSC”) as regards cyber attacks. Whilst the guidance focuses on smaller charities, it demonstrates how important it is for all charities and organisations to be aware of the crippling effect that cyber attacks can have and how it can prevent such attacks from taking place. NCSC identifies the following ways to reduce your risk:
- backing up data
- using strong passwords to access data
- installing malware protection software
- keeping mobile phones, laptops, tablets safe
- avoid phishing attacks
Cybercriminals, or other groups such as terrorist organisations or hackers, might target a charity for financial gain or political or personal reasons.
As a result of the guidance by the NCSC, the Charity Commission has also updated its guidance on protecting charities against fraud. All charities regardless of income or activities must have counter-fraud measures in place, such as robust protocols with regard to financial management, bribery and corruption, identity fraud, fundraising fraud, financial controls, and employment and recruitment. The Commission has put together an anti-fraud policy as well as other helpful templates with which we suggest trustees familiarise themselves.
It is paramount that charities continually ensure that they keep abreast of developments regarding fraud including cyber crime by regularly checking updated guidance from the NCSC as well as the Charity Commission.
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