Cyber security threats are growing, and many charities are still at risk. When I speak to charities through our digital checkup process, cyber security is often on their radar. But quite a number of charities haven’t yet taken action to improve their cyber defences. The good news is that taking a few technical measures can make a dramatic difference to your charity’s cyber resilience.

To put the cyber risk into context,research from last year showed that:

  • One in five UK charities reported a cyber breach 
  • Just over half of charities surveyed identified cybersecurity as a key priority 
  • But in the same year, 68% of charities reported that they had invested £0 in cyber security 

Cyber attacks come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals. They’re the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked. 

Earlier in 2018 the Scottish Government launched a Cyber Resilience Action Plan for the third sector. A key aim of that plan is for Scotland’s charities, large and small, to boost their levels of cyber security.

That’s why SCVO and the Scottish Government have just launched a second cyber grants programme, giving charities the chance to gain Cyber Essentials accreditation, a key step in building their cyber resilience. 

Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that will help you to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to any registered Scottish charity to help you achieve Cyber Essentials accreditation.

Larger charities, or organisations who have already completed Cyber Essentials Accreditation, can apply for Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation. IT suppliers can also apply on behalf of charities they are working with.

A Cyber Essentials grant made it possible for Food Train to go the extra mile to protect our data, and essentially to protect our reputation.  This was important to us as a Charity that deals with a vulnerable client group.  The application process was very straightforward and SCVO were helpful throughout.  We think it was very worthwhile and Food Train are extremely proud to display our Cyber Essentials badge on our marketing materials.  We are only a small to medium Third Sector organisation so if we can do it, anyone can!’


Fran Thow, National Support Manager, The Food Train

To find out more and apply for your cyber grant, please see our Cyber Resilience page.

The deadline for applications is 18 December 2018.