The National Cyber Security Centre has launched an online service to tackle phishing and other suspicious emails
Charity Sector Lead - Cub Llewelyn-Davies - from the National Cyber Security Centre outlines some of the cyber security challenges facing the charity sector, and how their new Suspicious Email Reporting Service can is tackling cyber crime.
Phishing emails are just awful: they are increasingly hard to spot and are sadly becoming even more commonplace as more of us move across to working from home. When we’re in the office we’re in professional mode: we’re more watchful and vigilant of suspicious-looking emails. If we’re unsure, all we have to do is tap an IT professional on the shoulder and ask if they can take a look. When we are in our own homes we’re more relaxed, and unfortunately, more susceptible to cyber crime.
With more people than ever working from home, we’ve seen an unfortunate rise in the number of phishing scams. These emails are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with some cyber criminals tailoring them specifically to what they’ve managed to learn about you online: your personal and professional interests, companies that your organisation works with, and other details that make them seem more legitimate.
The NCSC recognises the pain phishing emails cause and has not only produced guidance on keeping yourself safe but also created a reporting tool you can use to leave those phishers with empty nets - the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS).
Since its launch in April 2020, SERS has already received over 600,000 reports of phishing emails and, as a result, nearly 1,100 active phishing sites have been taken down. This is extremely bad news for the cyber criminals but great news for Charities and everyone in the UK living and working online.
If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS):
The message might be from a company you don’t normally deal with, or someone you do not know. You may just have a hunch. If you are suspicious, you should report it.
The NCSC analyse the suspect email and any websites it links to, using any additional information you’ve provided to look for and monitor suspicious activity.
If activity is discovered that is believed to malicious, the NCSC will:
Whilst the NCSC is unable to inform you of the outcome of its analysis, they act upon every message received. Rest assured that the more suspicious emails that you report the more chance we have of beating the cyber criminals and removing this threat from the internet.
The NCSC has published plenty of advice which will help you to stay secure online:
For a full overview of the NCSC’s advice for charities please look at their charity resources webpages