A few weeks ago, NCC Group and the Small Charities Coalition had been getting ready to launch their partnership to improve the cyber resilience of the UK’s small charities sector. As the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, it became obvious that our plans would have to change. Social distancing rules, and with it, the cancellation of events and other fundraising activities are presenting existential challenges for many of the UK’s small charities.
In addition, the closure of offices and the rapid shift in the way we work and interact with each other has forced many of them to adopt digital technologies much more quickly than perhaps even they had imagined. The importance of this move towards an online, virtual world in keeping us connected at the current time cannot be over-stated. But we are hearing from many small charities that they are understandably nervous about taking the leap quite so quickly; they fear that their rapid move online might put them at risk yet further, and that they could fall victim to the many unscrupulous cyber criminals that are already exploiting the current situation.
Mindful of the need to offer clear, practical advice to reassure small charities that embracing technology, going digital and living increasingly online can be done safely and securely, NCC Group and the Small Charities Coalition are putting together a cyber resilience support package for small charities. The package will include a mix of online Q&A sessions with NCC Group’s cyber mentors, and a range of video clips that explain practical security tips in easily accessible ways.
“Small charities are the bedrock of local communities and local action, and we are seeing just how vital this is during the Coronavirus pandemic”, says Dominic Beecher, NCC Group’s Chief Information Security Officer and one of the cyber mentors.
His fellow cyber mentor, Michelle Simpson, Senior Security Consultant, agrees: “Small charities are doing everything they can to help those in need during this crisis more than ever” and adds, “I want to do something to help protect them in doing that”.
David Vaux, SIEM Engineer, explains that this, too, motivates him to be a cyber mentor to small charities: “Small charities uphold some of the most vulnerable people in our society. If I can lend my help to them and support both them and the people they work for, just by doing what I do, then I will try”.
Simon Watson, Security Consultant concludes: “The last thing small charities want to be doing is adding online security concerns to their long list of worries. If we, as cyber mentors are able to reassure and help small charities just a little bit as they embrace a fully digital and online world, we’ll have made a valuable contribution. As we all tackle this brave new world together, we are committed to ensuring small charities feel confident they are doing the right things, and safeguard themselves now and in the future. “
The first NCC Group and Small Charities Coalition online Q&A session for small charities, focused on ‘Cyber security and working from home’ will take place on Wednesday 8 April, at 2.00pm (BST). Small charities will be able to put their concerns, worries and questions to a panel of NCC Group’s cyber mentors.
More information is available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cybersecurity-and-working-from-home-tickets-101790423898