Not-for-profit organisations may be an attractive target for cybercriminals, but there are a number of strategies for reducing the risk. The best way? Supercharging your charity’s IT infrastructure.
In the last year, 1 in every 8 UK charities has been the target of cybercrime. And a method known as phishing is one of the most common techniques used to try to scam not-for-profit organisations.
Phishing involves the use of fraudulent emails or digital messages to trick the recipient into believing that the communication is legitimate. For example, an email might be designed to look like a real message from a stakeholder. However, the message will usually request sensitive information, or direct the recipient to a malicious URL where confidential or personal details can be captured. As the messages often look legitimate, it can be easy to share information unintentionally with attackers.
Unfortunately, not-for-profits are a highly attractive target.
Why are charities targeted?
There’s no single reason why charities are typically subject to a large number of phishing efforts. Instead, there’s a combination of factors in play, which all come together to generate a high level of risk.
- Charities often hold very sensitive information relating to their users and supporters
- Attackers seek financial gain from acquiring access to donations, grants, and other funds
- Some attackers want to disrupt the activities and the impact of specific charities
- Not-for-profits often rely on volunteers who may not have high levels of IT training
- Only 30% of charities implement rules regarding the use of personal devices, creating vulnerabilities
- Charities may prefer to drive funds into frontline work, rather than IT security
Fortunately, there are measures that not-for-profits can put in place to protect themselves.
How to protect your organisation, and your users
Not-for-profit organisations may be an attractive target for cybercriminals, but there are a number of strategies for reducing the risk. The best way? Supercharging your charity’s IT infrastructure and ensuring your staff are confident in their digital skills. Let’s look at 4 expert tips from the Reliable Networks team…
1. Know what to look for
Phishing emails can look remarkably like authentic communications. It can be difficult to tell them apart. But it’s easier when you know what to look for. At Reliable Networks, we work with not-for-profits to run simulated phishing attacks, helping you to identify fraudulent attempts.
2. Improve awareness of risk
Phishing emails have such high success rates because recipients don’t realise that what they’re doing is putting the organisation at risk. Our training exercises are designed to raise awareness of phishing and other techniques, helping both staff and volunteers to recognise when something isn’t right.
3. Use advanced endpoint protection
Endpoint protection is a way to identify suspicious behaviour or activities on a device. For example, if a staff member clicks on a link in an email which is identified as being a potential risk, the software will block that URL to prevent access. This acts as a second line of defence if the scam is undetected.
4. Make yourself a less attractive target
Ultimately, the best way to reduce your risk is to make your organisation an unattractive target for cybercriminals. And that comes from building a more resilient, more secure IT infrastructure.
That’s what we specialise in here at Reliable Networks. Read more about our cyber security services, or contact us for more information.