Top Charities Act Fast on Data Breach, Prioritizing Supporter’s Privacy Protection

by | Sep 28, 2023

Several well-known charities, such as RSPCA, Shelter, Dogs Trust, Battersea, and Friends of the Earth, have recently been targeted by a cyberattack that resulted in a data breach. However, these charities have quickly taken proactive steps to address the breach and ensure the safety of their supporters’ data. In this article, we will examine the details of the incident and the swift actions taken by these charities to effectively address the breach.

Robust Systems in Place:
Dogs Trust, one of the affected charities, experienced a data breach, but fortunately, no sensitive personal or financial data was accessed. Acting quickly, Dogs Trust immediately notified all affected supporters and worked closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), third-party providers, and other affected charities. Their prompt response and cooperation allowed for a speedy resolution of the security breach.

The fact that hackers were unable to obtain financial information, postal addresses, or identity documentation highlights the charities’ commitment to protecting the privacy of their supporters. These organizations have strict protocols in place to safeguard supporter data and have high expectations for any company working on their behalf.

Addressing the Situation Directly:
Battersea, another affected charity, wasted no time in contacting potentially affected supporters and providing support and guidance. Importantly, there is no evidence of unauthorized use of the accessed data. Battersea has proactively reviewed and strengthened their security measures to prevent future breaches, demonstrating their dedication to the safety and security of their supporters.

Recognizing the severity of the data breach, Shelter promptly reported the incident to both the ICO and the Charity Commission. As a precautionary measure, they suspended all work with the company responsible for the breach, displaying their unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of supporter data.

Cooperation and Transparency:
The Charity Commission has confirmed that several charities filed serious incident reports regarding the data breach, highlighting the widespread impact of the incident. These charities are actively cooperating with regulators and authorities in the ongoing investigation to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Friends of the Earth, another affected charity, has taken proactive steps to inform their supporters about the breach and potential risks involved. Open and transparent communication is crucial to maintaining trust and transparency with supporters during such incidents.

The Far-Reaching Impact:
The breach originated from Kokoro, a research company and partner of charity sector consultancy About Loyalty. While the exact number of affected charities remains unknown, About Loyalty works with over 40 UK charities, emphasizing the extensive impact of the cyberattack.

Prioritizing Data Security:
Incidents like these serve as a reminder for organizations to prioritize data security in the digital world. The safety and privacy of supporter data should be of utmost importance, and charities must continually review and enhance their security measures to prevent future breaches.

In response to the breach, Kokoro launched an immediate investigation with external IT security specialists and believes that the incident has been contained. This proactive response is crucial in minimizing potential damage caused by such breaches.

Reassuring Supporters:
Although the breach has understandably caused concern among supporters, the affected charities are working tirelessly to reassure them. Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Shelter, Battersea, and Friends of the Earth are committed to preventing similar incidents and dedicated to maintaining the trust of their supporters.

Prominent charities have demonstrated resilience and dedication to supporter data security in the face of a data breach. Through prompt action, collaboration with authorities, and the implementation of enhanced security measures, these organizations are taking the necessary steps to protect their supporters and prevent future breaches. This incident serves as a reminder for all organizations to prioritize data security and ensure the safety of sensitive information in the digital age.