The Charities Security Forum (CSF) has announced a mentoring programme to enhance IT security knowledge and practice in the UK non-profit sector.
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The programme was developed because many in the UK non-profit sector lack dedicated information security resource and access to expertise.
The scheme is the latest initiative from the CSF, which has grown from six to 60 member charities since it was set up in 2007.
The mentoring scheme is open to members and will pair less experienced or non-security people with more experienced practitioners within the member charities.
The scheme is aimed at providing access to security experts who understand the unique challenges faced by the non-profit sector.
Invitation to 22 July meeting
To launch the scheme, the CSF is inviting anyone from the 160,000 or more charities and non-profit organisations in the UK to learn more at its next meeting on 22 July.
"Like any other business, charities have a responsibility to protect the integrity of their information and assure the security of their data," said Brian Shorten, CSF co-founder and head of security at Cancer Research UK.
"One of the aims of the Charities Security Forum is to try to spread best practice within a community that often does not have anyone dedicated to security," he said.
"There are some who have not even heard of the card payment standard for information security (PCI DSS), and yet they will be dependent on credit card donations," said Shorten.
Martyn Croft, CSF co-founder and chief information officer at The Salvation Army, said that card fraud is a double danger for charities.
Phishing e-mails can easily trick the public into visiting bogus websites, and when people are exploited in this way the donors lose out and so do the intended recipients, he said.
Charity websites are also frequently used by criminals to test stolen payment card credentials, said Croft. "This is an area of information security where the Charity Security Forum has unique knowledge and will be pleased to give advice," he said.