Finance: Charities outperforming finance on ICT security

Charities are more secure against attacks on their ICT networks than other sectors of the economy, according to a new report.

In a test carried out by the internet security specialist NTA Monitor, the voluntary sector proved less vulnerable to hackers trying to access confidential personal or corporate data than the finance, government, ICT, manufacturing or utilities sectors.

Charities had an above average 10 risks per test, but all of them were low level. Risks are defined as allowing hackers to get at information that could enable them to access confidential donor information such as credit card details or bank account information.

Roy Hills, technical director at NTA Monitor, said the results might disguise a poor record from charities in ICT security.

"Although charitable institutions seem to be leading the way in securing their virtual private network connections, our findings indicate that they still need to tighten their policies on ICT security housekeeping and its implementation," he said. "Any flaws need to be acted on as soon as they are discovered to minimise the risk of attack.

"My concern is that, in reality, internet and network security in the charity sector could be a lot worse than our findings show because, by their very nature, our customers are security conscious and undergo regular testing."

In the report for all sectors, 17 per cent of the risks discovered were classified as 'medium' but the majority were 'low'. Charities were found to be the most successful at eliminating risks of a medium level.

- See feature, page 26.

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