Cyber security a real threat for charities - PKF Francis Clark
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Cyber security a real threat for charities

One in five charities suffered a cyber-security breach or attack in the last 12 months, according to a recent government survey.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018 and found that 19 per cent of the 555 charities that responded had suffered a cyber-breach or attack in the past year. Some 62 per cent of charities with an income over £500,000 experienced a breach or attack, compared to 34 per cent of charities with an income of £100,000 to £500,000.

These statistics highlight that cyber criminals continue to see charities as an attractive target and when coupled with the misconception that effective cyber defence is expensive, it appears that many charities could be doing more to better protect themselves against such attacks.

The impacts of a Cyber Security breach are very real and within a charity may include:


  • Having to pay costs or fines where your organisation breaches a third party’s privacy rights
  • Losing out on sales or donations when a hacker takes down your website
  • Costs incurred to get the organisation back on its feet
  • Managing cyber extortion threats
  • Responding quickly when incidents go viral and could damage your reputation.


Richard Wilding, Head of Cyber Security at PKF Francis Clark comments: “A cyber security breach could have a devastating impact on charities. All charities, both large and small, have a duty to protect the information they hold on their donors and the reputational impact of any kind of cyber security breach could have a long term negative impact on the organisation.

“We are experienced in working with not-for-profit organisations of all sizes to ensure they fully consider the risks facing their organisation; helping them to implement the required security measures to improve their protection against future cyber security attacks.”

If your not-for-profit organisation would benefit from a cyber security review or would simply like more information on how our cyber security experts can help, please contact us at [email protected]

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