Cyber Security in the Health and Medical Research Charity Sector

Protecting the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom from cyber threats is an important goal in the Government’s efforts to prevent people from becoming victims of cyber-attacks.

While charities may not appear as financially attractive to cyber criminals as businesses or governments, the wealth of personal data they hold could be appealing, so it is important to recognise the value that they hold.

These organisations, including all members of the Association of Medical Research Charities, operate to support significant national and international objectives in medical health research. AMRC member charities invest over £1.6bn per year into UK medical research, helping to make the UK an important global player in the fight against diseases affecting people across the globe.

Any threats to the operational ability of these organisations deserves due consideration. Organisations, particularly those working in health, collate personal data, including on the patients that they serve. This data is sensitive, valuable to the organisation, and potentially valuable to cyber criminals. Ensuring the protection of employee, volunteer, and patient personal data needs to be an integral part of each organisation’s operations, particularly so given imminent changes in data protection law.

Raising awareness and strengthening the sector-wide understanding and prioritisation of cyber security is an important step towards protecting such a vital sector. The Government is working to support the voluntary sector by providing information sources such as the Cyber Essentials scheme and a 10 Step Guidance.

techUK is working to build on this and improve knowledge sharing across the sector in a briefing event that will look at some of the key cyber challenges facing the medical research sector, as well as steps that AMRC member charities can take to ensure that they are best protected from cyber attacks.

Speakers include:

Senior National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) speaker

Nick Posford, CEO, CiCRA

Rebecca Cosgriff, Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Elisabetta Zaccaria, SecureChorus

Joe Collinwood, CySure

 

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