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Suzy Lamplugh Trust treads path to improved cyber resilience

Personal safety charity enlists the support of the London Cyber Resilience Centre to improve staff awareness and strengthen its overall cyber resilience

Anti-harassment and stalking charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust – one of the UK’s most prominent third-sector organisations working to protect women’s personal safety, and the body behind the National Stalking Helpline – has teamed up with the London Cyber Resilience Centre (LCRC) to improve its overall resilience to potential threats.

The trust was founded in 1986 by the parents of Suzy Lamplugh, an estate agent who disappeared in Fulham, West London, in July of that year, and whose body was never found. Lamplugh was declared dead in absentia in 1993, and the prime suspect in the case has never been charged, although he is serving multiple full-life sentences for other offences including abduction, rape and murder.

In the course of its history, the charity has educated millions in personal safety strategies and supported more than 70,000 victims and survivors, as well as becoming a leading advocate for policy change.

Cyber can impact on any organisation, but the third sector is at particular risk owing to the sensitive nature of the data it holds and the fact that funding charitable work often takes priority over back-office functions such as IT and security.

“Whilst we have not had any ‘successful’ cyber attacks to date, we have received numerous phishing emails,” said Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s finance head, Phillippa Smart. “Luckily, until now, we have caught these, but it is definitely something we have to be vigilant about.

“In addition, we have found that 100% of the stalking cases we support are now linked to cyber in some way. So it is an issue we are constantly reviewing so we can give the most up-to-date advice to our clients,” she added.

The LCRC is one of nine regional police-led centres making up a network that spans England and Wales, and its engagement with Suzy Lamplugh Trust will see students involved in the Cyber PATH talent pipeline programme – which it runs in collaboration with its countrywide peers – come on board to cover off some of the basic tenets of cyber hygiene, such as staff training and awareness and website security.

The LCRC also offers a range of other security services, including auditing and investigating an organisation or individual’s online presence, assessing their internet-facing IT devices for vulnerabilities, reviewing existing security policies, conducting business continuity exercises, and conducting community cyber outreach, particularly among owners and operators of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It partners with a number of managed security services providers (MSSPs) to support its mission and provide National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cyber Essentials certifications to SMEs. It is itself Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certified.

“Cyber crime is one of the biggest threats facing charities, with a quarter having reported an attack or breach last year. The impact of an attack can be devastating, but the good news is that the overwhelming majority of cyber crime can be prevented by taking a few simple steps,” said LCRC CEO Simon Newman.

“That’s where our Cyber PATH programme can help. Keeping staff aware of the latest scams and regularly reviewing the security of your website are just two things that can make a huge difference to your overall cyber resilience. I’m delighted that the Suzy Lamplugh Trust have found our services so useful.

“With October being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, there has never been a better time to start your journey towards better cyber resilience.”

Read more about security for charities

  • The NCSC recently called for charities to elevate their cyber security practice. Find out why charities are a soft target for cyber criminals, and what they can do to fight back.
  • Charities and legal aid firms are among those to be offered free security checks and certifications from the National Cyber Security Centre.
  • Accepting donations from cyber criminal groups could be deemed as profiting from crime, money laundering or handling stolen goods – so don’t do it.

Read more on Security policy and user awareness

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