Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated warns the NCVO’s annual blueprint for the charity sector.
Cyber security remains a high priority for charities with many working with “outdated tools and systems”, according to an NCVO report on the year ahead.
The charity sector body’s annual Road Ahead report looks at the key issues to affect the sector over the coming year, with cyber threats listed as a top priority for the coming year.
Its Road Ahead 2020 report warns of the need to be vigilant to attacks from criminals and hackers, who care becoming more skilled at scamming charities.
“Cybercrime will continue to be a huge risk and email fraud is predicted to become even more sophisticated,” states the report.
“In order to protect their valuable funds, assets and good reputation, it will be crucial for charities to have greater awareness of cyber-attacks and put a range of security measures in place.”
This includes ensuring software is updated, malware protection is in place, password policies are robust and staff training is in place.
Such measures are especially important as 2020 is set to see more technology changes for charities. This includes more remote flexible working, utlilising artificial intelligence and using digital systems to support beneficiaries, such as translation tools for refugees.
“But a lot of charities are still working with outdated tools and systems that don’t support these developments,” states the report.
“Money is one of the main barriers and many charities would update their IT infrastructure if they had sufficient funds.”
The report urges charities to look at cloud services which “can offer great alternatives in terms of cost savings, flexibility and scalability”. It says that “about two thirds of charities are already using them”
“Charities can also make use of discounts offered to them by many software providers,” adds the report.
“Using the latest technology is not just about innovation and growth. Outdated tools can also lead to security risks exposing organisations to data breaches.”
It makes particular mention of the risk charities still running the outdated Windows 7 Microsoft system face.
Support and updates, including security patches ended this month and leave users at risk of cyber attacks and being non-comliant with data regulation.