Following on from our previous blog post on Cyber Security for Charities, we’ve expanded on our 3 step route to strengthening your security posture.

The effect of a cyberattack on a charity can be damning; money and valuable data can be lost, but that’s not all: delays in operations caused by cyberattacks can restrict vulnerable people of the services and support they need. Reducing the risk of an attack on non-profit organisations can help to keep things running smoothly for those who rely on it.

Read on to learn more about how to keep your organisation safe.

be aware secure prepare

Step 1: Be Aware

Before you can fortify your systems, you need to know what you’re up against and where your organisation’s vulnerabilities lie. An effective way of evaluating your security risks is through Penetration Testing, a service that has experts find and exploit the vulnerabilities in the same way as a real-world hacker. Only after acknowledging the specific risks to your organisation, can you effectively begin strengthening your security posture.

Your entire team needs to know the risks too. When developing awareness, ensure that everyone in your organisation understands the dangers and how to recognise and report potential breaches.


Step 2: Secure

Though a lot of security measures can seem very technical, there are a few invaluable basics that you can easily employ to protect your organisation.

Using complex passwords is an easy first step, so make sure your workforce isn’t using passwords like Password and Password123.  If remembering multiple complex passwords proves difficult, use a password manager to take the weight off. Following this up with Multi-Factor Authentication is another easily adopted step that can help deter hackers.

Another of the most vital practices for mitigating cybersecurity risks is strong security awareness education. Having effective security training is of utmost importance in keeping your workforce aware of the dangers and how to respond to them. Keeping track of devices that are being used by your employees and volunteers is also very important, so be sure to secure them with robust anti-virus software and a VPN.

Whilst it might seem like too much of a business cost, investing resources into strengthening your security defences will definitely pay off. The right tech and cybersecurity services are an invaluable benefit to for-profit and non-profit organisations alike.

Securing your systems can be a difficult task. There are so many different types of software out there to protect your data, a myriad of VPNs and seas of password managers available. If your organisation doesn’t have the resources to hire its own Security Manager, or if they’d benefit from some help from trusted experts, a Virtual Information Security Manager can assist you to bolster your security posture.


Step 3: Prepare

We can try as hard as possible to prevent ourselves from being the victim of a cyberattack, but cyber-criminals are crafty individuals, who are always developing new skills, or taking advantage of zero-day exploits, and you never know what new technique they might use to infiltrate your systems.

Though they may have taken an unorthodox route, or just simply outsmarted the defences, you can keep yourself one step ahead by preparing an incident response strategy.

The period of dealing with a security breach is one of tension. If an organisation is not adequately prepared for the efficient handling of an incident, then a time of tension becomes one of crisis.

Within your response plan, there’s lots to think about. Who do employees turn to in the case of a breach? How do you contain the attack to minimise harm? How will you remove the threat, record the incident, and recover?

Testing this plan is vital, too. Services such as ‘Wargaming’ are available to test your incident response plan as if a real breach has taken place, ensuring that you’re as prepared as possible.


These steps aren’t a one-time thing. For your organisation to be secure, you must revisit them often. Threats are constantly evolving, but thankfully, new ways of dealing with them follow quickly.

Here at Secarma, we’re dedicated to helping charities stay safe from the threats that are out there. We believe that the work charities do is of the utmost importance and feel a responsibility to assist charities in defending themselves against cybercriminals.

Share this handy guide with a cause that’s close to your heart and help a charity take some simple steps towards defending against hackers. If your charitable organisation requires more advanced help, get in touch with our experts, or check out our charity support fund.

Our Charity Support Fund initiative enables vulnerable charities to strengthen their security at a time where opportunistic criminals are defrauding individuals and organisations on an unprecedented level.

If you’re a charity that requires extra security assurance, please contact us today and enquire about our pro-bono work.


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