Charity cyber attacks

02 March 2020

Guidance, tools and templates to help protect charities from cyber crime.

Charity volunteer at desk with ipad


Research by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) shows that 20% of charities have fallen victim to cyber attack in just the past year1. Combine this with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and you can understand why there is now such a focus on cyber defence. 

To understand more about the challenges charities face, we conducted a survey on their experiences with cyber crime and their efforts to implement defences. 

Attacks on charities have been steadily rising in recent years2 and a third of respondents believe the risk of a cyber-attack has increased in the past year, rising to 40% among larger charities. 

The research found just half (52%) have a cyber security plan in place, while fewer have a specific cyber risk management plan (42%) or cyber insurance (42%) in case the worst happens3

Charity cyber security tools

 
Charity cyber scenario planner
 
 
Charity cyber attack example

A cyber attack can come in many forms, discover one charities experience with a cyber criminal who used multiple methods to make fake invoices look genuine. 
 
 
Cyber insurance 
 
While insurance is not the only solution, cyber-cover can be a vital part of any cyber-security plan. The policy not only covers the costs following a data breach or cyber-attack, it also gives vital access to experts who can support charities in dealing with cyber-risk and the aftermath of an attack.
 
If you invest in cyber insurance, it’s worth understanding what you’re getting from the cover. Some policies may not provide cover for the financial loss resulting from cyber crime. Some policies might only provide cover for targeted attacks and not indiscriminate events that affect many victims. 
 
We offer standalone policies or cyber enhancements which can be added to your existing charity insurance. You can find out more information, including how to choose the most suitable product for your organisation, by speaking with your insurance broker. 
 
If you would like to learn more about the risks charities face in the short, medium and long-term, read our Charity Risk Barometer.
 
1 Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2 Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 22% of charities admitted a cyber-breach in 2019 compared to 19% the previous year.
3 Ecclesiastical Charity Survey 2019, Cyber – based on 200 telephone interviews conducted Sept-Nov 2019
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