GCHQ offers free support to small charities at risk of cyber attack

12 Jan 2023 News

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, has announced it is offering small charities free support to put protections in place against cyber attacks.

It has launched the initiative to help organisations that support the most vulnerable in society boost their cyber resilience.

The Funded Cyber Essentials Programme will offer practical assistance to small charities to put baseline cyber security controls in place.

It notes information held by organisations can be highly sensitive, so strong cyber security is vital.

Micro and small charities (one to 49 employees excluding volunteers) that processes personal data, as defined under GDPR, are eligible.

For example, those working in safeguarding such as domestic abuse charities or online chat support services.

The focus of the programme is to support sectors which are at relatively greater risk of cyber attack because of the sensitive information they handle and because organisations typically have a lower level of cyber maturity.

Organisations receive 20 hours of expert support to help implement the five technical measures needed to gain Cyber Essentials Plus certification – firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware and software updates.
Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society resilience, said: “Charities and legal aid firms do incredible work supporting vulnerable people when they need it most, and that’s why it is vital they take steps to protect sensitive data.
“I strongly encourage organisations to register so they can boost their cyber resilience and help reduce the chances of falling victim to a potentially damaging cyber attack.”

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.


More on