More than a quarter of charities suffered cyber attacks last year

A report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport says larger charities are particularly targeted

More than a quarter of charities fell victim to cyber attacks in 2019, with larger charities particularly targeted, latest government figures show.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, says that 57 per cent of charities with incomes of more than £500,000 a year were affected by cyber attacks or breaches in the 12 months before the survey took place.

A fifth of charities affected by cyber breaches reported these incidents occurring at least once a week, according to the report.

While 26 per cent of charities reported breaches, up from 22 per cent the previous year, the report says this was likely to be because more charities were spotting cyber attacks and reporting them to the authorities.

But more than half of charities targeted by cyber criminals were negatively affected as a result, the report says.

It adds that more senior management teams in the charity sector are taking the threat of cyber breaches seriously, up from 53 per cent in last’s year’s study to 74 per cent this time around.

Only 12 per cent of charities said they did not regularly update their senior management teams on cyber security, the report says.

And only 31 per cent of charities insure against cyber attacks in their organisations, it adds.

According to the survey, just 13 per cent of charities had reviewed the cyber security risks posed by their suppliers.

“Organisations have become more resilient to breaches and attacks over time,” the DCMS report says.

“They are less likely to report negative outcomes or impacts from breaches, and more likely to make a faster recovery. However, breaches that do result in negative outcomes still incur substantial costs.”

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