Charities warned they could be at risk from cyber-attacks.
The Charity Commission has issued a warning to charities that they could be at risk from a ransomware attack after the NHS was targeted last week. Charities are being urged to be vigilant after over 200,000 organisations, including the NHS, in 150 countries have been affected by a recent ransomware attack. The regulator has warned that the vulnerabilities exploited by the hackers are the same for charities as they are for individuals.
The Commission said it encourages charities to follow protection advice recently issued by the City of London Police and National Cyber Security Centre. It has published some key protection messages for charities to follow, including emphasising that organisations should not meet any stated demands or pay a ransom. The key protection messages are:
- Install system updates on all devices as soon as they become available
- Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated
- Create regular backups of your important/business critical files to a device that is not left connected to your network, as any malware infection could be spread to that too
- Do not meet any stated demands and pay a ransom – this may be requested via Bitcoins (a form of digital or ‘crypto’ currency)
Harvey Grenville, head of investigations and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “Charities need to be aware of the imminent danger posed by ransomware threats and take appropriate steps to protect their charity from cyber-attack – a charity’s valuable assets and good reputation can be put at risk from these dangerous scams. “I urge all charities, if they suspect they may have fallen victim to cyber fraud, to report it immediately to Action Fraud and to the Commission, under its serious incident reporting regime.”
Source: Civil Society