Ransomware, cyber-extortion and GDPR: Three security headaches ahead for charities

Charities are a prime target for hackers and are at risk of devastating cyber attacks, the UK’s intelligence agency has warned. The National Cyber Security Centre has set out some of the biggest cyber threats facing charities and advice on how to combat them in a new report.

The Cyber Threat Assessment: UK Charity Sector report describes cyber crime as the greatest threat to the charity sector, with threats ranging from small-scale fraudsters to highly advanced threat groups to even nation-state and terrorist actors. This, combined with the vast amounts of personal and financial data they potentially hold make charities a potentially lucrative target for cyber criminal activity. The report also warns that charities aren’t prepared for the incoming GDPR data protection legislation.

Ransomware and business email compromise are currently the biggest threat to charities, especially because staff – responding to questions or accepting donations – will regularly open emails and download attachments. This makes those in the charity sector prime targets for specifically crafted spear-phishing emails that aim to trick victims into downloading what they believe to legitimate attachment, only for it to infect the network with ransomware.

Read more about the NCSC report on cyber threats in the charity sector on ZDNet.

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