Less or non-security focussed practitioners are to be paired with more experienced practitioners within the member charities courtesy of a new forum.

The Charities Security Forum (CSF) is to launch a mentoring scheme to address knowledge gaps in the non-profit sector with a meeting scheduled for the 22nd July. The CSF explained that the objective is to identify and offer a valuable expert resource from within the non-profit sector that is both proficient in security and cognisant of the unique challenges faced by the sector.

With 60 member charities, many with several employees active in the forum, the scheme will begin with a significant expert resource pool that is set to grow with the membership. Further, to support the mentoring scheme the forum will be conducting a survey of current challenges, knowledge and resource gaps.  The results, to be announced in the autumn, will help mentors and all participants understand pressing issues.

Brian Shorten, head of security at Cancer Research UK and co-founder of the CSF, said: “These organisations generate a combined total income of more than £48 billion. For most, information is the lifeblood that enables them to fulfil their charitable purpose and, like any other business, they have a responsibility to protect the integrity of their information and assure the security of their data.

“One of the aims of the Charities Security Forum is to try to spread best practice within a community that often doesn't have anyone dedicated to security.  There are some who have not even heard of PCI (the card payment standard for information security), for instance, yet they will be dependent on credit card donations.”