Charity Saved by Cybersecurity Firm

Article date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:35 GMT


A Manchester online security firm has saved a charity from ruin after spotting and resolving a hack that left 1,000 beneficiaries' personal data exposed.

Hypoparathyroidism charity HPTH UK has been saved from hefty fines from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) thanks to the immediate action of security experts at Secarma, who spotted a hack on the charity in April this year.

Having been attacked twice in a week, the personal details of more than 1,000 sufferers of the life-threatening illness, stored by HPTH UK, were published on infamous hacker website PasteBin. Experts at Secarma spotted the content and raised the alarm with the charity, offering free assistance to resolve the security flaw.

The ICO recently ruled that thanks to the immediate resolution of the issue, the charity will not be fined - avoiding a £500,000 bill and the financial ruin of the charity.

Liz Glenister, CEO HPTH UK said "Hypoparathyroidism UK is indebted to Secarma for their swift response to the hacking of our website in April 2013 and for their valuable assistance over the following weeks.

"We feel that the recent decision from ICO not to take action is down to Secarma's early intervention and willingness to share their knowledge so freely for which we shall be ever grateful. They, and others like them, are the 21st century super heroes!"

Lawrence Jones, CEO of Secarma's parent company UKFast said: "It is wonderful to have helped this charity to stay on their feet and protect them from a devastating blow. It does highlight the importance of protecting yourself online - no matter who you are.

"Hackers are unscrupulous and if they can steal your data, they will. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time, simple measures like strong passwords and regular testing can ensure that you won't be easy pickings for hackers, nor fall foul of the ICO and the Data Protection Act."

Secarma is the cybersecurity arm of cloud hosting and colocation firm UKFast and recently celebrated its one year anniversary of becoming a standalone company.

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