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TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charities driving fight against cyber crime


The Third Sector Cyber Catalyst network is aiming to lead the fight against online crime and raise awareness of the dangers of cyber-crime

Charities in Scotland are helping to drive the fight against cyber-crime.

Research published this month showed the majority of charities (81%) believe they are fully prepared to deal with a cyber-attack. However the study of 200 charity leaders by Ecclesiastical Insurance also found just half (52%) have a cyber security plan in place, while fewer have a specific cyber risk management plan (42%) or cyber insurance (42%) in case the worst happens.

The Third Sector Cyber Catalyst network is aiming to lead the fight against online crime within charities and raise awareness of the dangers of cyber-crime in the voluntary sector. The network is made up of a group of 16 organisations who have made a commitment, at board level, to strengthen leadership for and help drive greater awareness and uptake of cyber resilience best practice in Scotland's voluntary sector.

Kevin Burns, head of IT at Royal Blind, is one of those who has been leading the work on cyber resilience, and said there is a need to work together to share knowledge.

He said: “There’s a huge lack of knowledge about cyber-crime, especially within charities as some organisations only involve two or three people. Sometimes organisations are using shared wi-fi connections, and have no idea of the problems that can cause, or they may not be using a secure internet connection.

“There’s a need for advice to be shared around the simple things you can do to improve security. Malicious emails and spam are on the rise, I think people are more suspicious but many organisations have no idea what to do if they are targeted.”

The group shares knowledge and promote cyber security by speaking at events, undertaking research, proactively promoting CR on social media, amongst other things.

“I’ve learned a lot from taking part,” added Burns. “There are a lot of experienced people on the group and even just talking about simple things such as free phishing tools are great. I then take what I have learned and pass it on to other people.”

The successes of this network have recently been promoted in the inaugural Third Sector Cyber Catalysts in Scotland report. To contact the catalyst network, email Alternatively, contact the new Cyber Advice Helpline, which is managed by the team at Royal Blind on 0131 222 2799.



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