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Charities offered free cybersecurity support by NCSC | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Charities and legal aid firms are now being offered free cyber security assistance from the The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to help them protect the vulnerable people they support. 

According to the Charity Commission, one in eight charities suffered a cyber-attack in 2022, with only 24% having a formal cybersecurity strategy in place despite increasing their uses of digital services. 

To combat these issues, the NCSC have launched the new Funded Cyber Essentials Programme, which offers small organisations operating in high-risk sectors practical, free support to help build baseline cyber security controls. 

Protecting and servicing vulnerable people comes with its own risk, as the data stored by charities and legal aid firms can be highly sensitive, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. 

The initiative, funded by the government and delivered by IASME, will see eligible organisations receive 20 hours of expert support to help implement the five technical measures needed to gain Cyber Essentials certification – firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware, and software updates. 

Micro and or small businesses that offer legal aid, and similarly sized charities that process personal data area able to access the service to better safeguard the people they represent.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society Resilience said: “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.” 

With the entire UK facing a cybersecurity skills shortage and many organisations behind in their digital skills, training in cybersecurity basics is especially important for small companies dealing with sensitive information which have a lower level of cyber maturity. 


Dr Emma Philpott MBE, CEO of the IASME Consortium which delivers the programme for government said: “The Funded Cyber Essentials programme is aimed at some of the smallest and most vulnerable organisations in the UK. It is designed to encourage and support them to implement the minimum cyber security technical controls.

“Through the programme, IASME’s network of cyber security experts are able to use their skills to help those who need support most. The programme aims to protect small charities and legal aid firms, and the sensitive data they hold, from common internet threats.”

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National Cyber Security