The start of a new year is the perfect time to reassess your IT security and decide which areas need prioritising the most – which software test teams can certainly help with.
Any charity out there planning on making this a focus over the next 12 months may want to have a look at this article on the Charity Digital News website, where head of charity engagement at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Kate Sinnott goes through some of the biggest cyber security trends expected to emerge this year.
She explained that we’re now seeing a rise in ransomware, which could see systems shut down by cyber criminals demanding a ransom be paid before these systems are restored. In addition, email fraudsters will likely continue targeting the third sector and those involved in charity work would be wise to be on their guard against phishing attacks.
Ms Sinnott explained that a “community of trust” often exists in this particular sector and it’s easy to believe that people are reaching out because they want to show their support for the charity in question.
As such, always be vigilant about emails coming in and remain suspicious of anything that looks untoward, avoiding clicking on malicious links or inputting your bank details.
The big problem here, Ms Sinnott continued, is that these phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can be very convincing.
“The NCSC has done a lot of work to make emails safer – including pro-actively stopping 54 million malicious emails being sent in one year spoofing government. But other ‘phishing’ techniques still present a danger to tricking recipients. Just because an email contains some personal information about you such as your address, don’t automatically think that it is a legitimate email,” she said.
You can find a cyber security guide for charities on the Ecclesiastical website if you’d like a few pointers on how to really prioritise this in 2019. Figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office show that the number of charities experiencing a data breach rose by two-thirds year-on-year from April 2015/2016 to April 2016/2017.
It’s important to remember that cyber crime can happen to any business, no matter the size or industry, and while you might well think you’re small fry compared to other companies and criminals would have more to gain from going after a larger organisation, it’s also worth thinking that smaller enterprises may well be easier targets.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with all the ways that cyber criminals may try to take you down so you can adequately prepare and make sure that your systems are robust enough to withstand an attack… and that you have processes and procedures in place to mitigate the impact should something happen.