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Case study: How Nebula helped to kill the threat of cyber-attacks for a leading charity

Published by Phoebe | Blog | 30 April, 2021

Did you know? 2020 saw a huge decline in businesses cybersecurity, with over half of UK businesses admitting they had no proper policies in place.

The threat of a cyber-attack is real, and one that all organisations must mitigate against. Having a trustworthy and knowledgeable IT partner is often invaluable in finding an appropriate, cyber-security solution.

Charities are not immune from the threat. They hold funds, personal, financial and commercial data (and other information) that is of interest or monetary value to a range of cybercriminals and other groups.

Some charities are aware their data is sensitive, valuable and vulnerable to attack. However, many charities – particularly smaller ones – do not realise this and do not perceive themselves as targets.

Research shows them to be a significant target: in 2020, and just over a quarter (26%) of charities reported they had experienced a cyber breach.

National Eye Research Centre

Thankfully, the National Eye Research Centre – a charity whose purpose is to carry out research into the causes and treatment of diseases and disabilities of the eye and the prevention of blindness – was well aware of the threat posed by cybercriminals.

“As a charity, we are committed to keeping our supporters’ records safe,” says CEO Laura Serratrice.

“It is also critical that we keep all our charitable activity records secure and always accessible. We are a small team of only three staff operating with donors and beneficiaries across the UK, dealing with a variety of stakeholders including universities and hospitals.”

In March 2020, the National Eye Research Centre turned to Nebula looking for advice on a suitable cyber-security solution.

Challenges

The main challenge was that the small team at the charity – recently renamed Sight Research UK – had limited resources internally. Their time is critical and the focus has to be on day-to-day duties rather than IT and security.

They also, by their own admission, had limited-to-no understanding of how to ensure their estate was secure. Something many small businesses in the UK struggle with. However, this was easily solved by reaching out to Nebula; a specialist in the latest, reliable, secure and relevant technology.

Solution

Nebula carried out a security assessment/audit. This allowed us to see what the charity needed to fully protect themselves as each organisation is different in this respect.

The solution became quickly apparent.

“We had been looking for cybersecurity solutions, and when Nebula recommended Microsoft Defender for Endpoint we knew it was the option for us,” Serratrice explains.

At Nebula, we try to use the tried-and-tested solutions from Microsoft, when they fit, and in this case, the Microsoft product was used as part of our Frontier security solution.

Frontier is hosted within Azure and works with Microsoft 365 to offer clients security analytics and threat intelligence across their organisation. This managed solution provides a single solution for alert detection, threat visibility, proactive hunting and threat response.

For the charity, the shift in responsibility meant they no longer have to worry about any alerts as it is now all taken care of by us.

Outcome

The day-to-day burden and stress of managing the charity’s IT estate and security is now relieved, with the team at Nebula proactively dealing with any issues. If any problems do arise at the client end, we’re here to assist right away.

“The team at Nebula IT is an invaluable partner that helps us work in the most effective and secure ways possible,” says Serratrice.

“The cost is very affordable and it was installed in a matter of minutes. Signing up to this online security service has given us peace of mind that all our online activities are shielded effectively from any potential cyber-attack, including online banking and accessing confidential information on cloud-based databases.”

Ultimately, it means Serratrice and her team can get on with the real work of helping find new sight-saving solutions.

Talk to us! If you would like to find out more about our security solutions we have to offer, or simply just need some advice about your business IT, get in touch today and allow us to take the weight off of your shoulders.