The Scottish Government continuously invites organisations to invest into cyber security through their grant schemes. The latest round of funding from the Scottish government’s Cyber Essentials fund is targeted towards charities. Charities can apply for grants of up to £1,000 towards their Cyber Essentials certification.
Read more about this grant
Improving Cyber Resilience
In 2017 the Scottish Government set up the £500,000 Cyber Essentials small grants scheme to help SMEs and charities boost their cyber security. The newly published Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 reveals that more than one in five charities (22%) fell victim to a cyber attack in 2018. This shocking figure highlights that charities are just as vulnerable to these crimes as private sector businesses.
Last year the National Cyber Security Centre published a charity-specific guidance, this guide highlighted that 73% of charities with an income of over £5 million had fallen victim to cyber attacks.
Latest funding round
In the past year 60 charities have been awarded grants through the Scottish Government’s grant scheme. Successful bidders use the funding to meet UK government accreditation standards in firewalls, secure configuration, user-access control, malware protection and patch management.
Commenting on the Cyber Security Breaches Survey statistics showing the level of cyber attacks on charities, David McNeill, Digital Director at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, which is administering the grants scheme, said: “Charities are increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks, so it’s really important that they take action to keep themselves and their data safe.”
Getting the grant
The Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes, said that the accreditation scheme “demonstrates to supporters, donors and beneficiaries that charities are protecting their data.”
Charities with annual incomes of up to £4 million are eligible to apply for the grant. The Cyber Essentials certification is valid for 12 months, and then need to be renewed for £300.
Cyber Essentials Online
Gaining a Cyber Essentials certification enables charities to showcase their credentials as trustworthy and secure when it comes to cyber security. The certification defines a focused set of controls which provide clear guidance on basic cyber security and offers a sound foundation of cyber security measures that all types of organisations can implement at a low cost.