More than two in five charities hit by cyber-attacks last year

The proportion of charities in the UK that said they have experienced a cyber-attack rose by 13 percentage points last year, according to research by insurer Ecclesiastical.

Polling published by the insurer Ecclesiastical found that 41%of the 500 charities surveyed said they had experienced at least one cyber-attack in the past year, up from 28% the previous year.

The most popular forms of cyber-attack were phishing, followed by malware and denial of service.

The survey, which was conducted by One Poll at the end of October, showed that 30% of those respondents that had been attacked said they had experienced five or more attacks or breaches in the previous year.

It also found that 37% of charities that were attacked said they had experienced a loss of data as a result of being attacked, with 31% of those saying they had been fined for the data loss.

About two in five of those surveyed felt more working from home had exposed the charity to a higher risk of cyber-attack than before.

More than three-quarters of respondents said they felt “fully prepared” to deal with an attack.

Three out of five charities said they had a cyber security plan in place, with a further 28% saying they were working on one.

Faith Kitchen, customer segment director at Ecclesiastical, said: “The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for large parts of the charity sector – increased demand, decreasing budgets and restrictions changing how they work creating a perfect storm for many.

“Against such a challenging backdrop it is encouraging to see that charities are investing in cyber security measures to help tackle the increasing threat of a cyber-attack.”

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