Cybersecurity for Nonprofits
October 23, 2023
Nonprofits Cybersecurity: Protection is Necessary
With the rapid pace of technological and digital advancements, cybersecurity has become essential in order to protect sensitive data and information. Cybersecurity knowledge and awareness is crucial for everyone, ranging from an individual to a nationwide level. In honor of October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’ll be sharing some facts about the importance of Cybersecurity for nonprofits and tips on how to keep your nonprofit safe.
Importance of Cybersecurity for Nonprofits
Financial Safeguarding: Nonprofits manage various funds from donors, grants, and government agencies. Cyberattacks such as fraudulent wire transfers can cause financial loss and a significant decrease in donor trust.
Protecting Sensitive Data: Nonprofits handle and safeguard more than just financial information, there’s employee, volunteer, donor & beneficiary information. All this information can be used for identity theft, reputation harm, disruption in service, and spreading malicious information. Cybersecurity helps protect this data from data breaches or unauthorized access. Safeguarding data is not only a legal requirement but should be an ethical responsibility.
Maintaining Operations: Cyberattacks can cause a delay in daily operations of nonprofits which could lead to downtime or ransom. While trying to resolve the disruption, nonprofits lose time and the ability to raise funds, engage with supporters and deliver services. Ensuring the availability of critical systems and data is essential to continue delivering services.
Limited Resources: Some nonprofits could be vulnerable to cyberattacks due to their organization’s limited resources. This could include lack of financial funds for newer technologies, awareness, education, and preparation to safeguard from malicious hackers. Some nonprofits may not even consider the possibility that they are being targeted and therefore do not take any measures to protect themselves.
How To Take Action
Now that we’ve highlighted some potential risks in cybersecurity in nonprofits, let’s walk through some of the next steps to begin implementing a plan to safeguard nonprofits.
- Employee Training: Educating and training your employees about cyberattacks is the first step to strengthening your protection. Employees need to stay up to date with the latest cyberattack or scam trends to increase your organization’s overall awareness and preparedness. Having clear documentation of security protocols, from preventative measures to recovery measures following a hack can help resolve the attack much faster.
- Passwords and Authentication: Strengthening user logins and password management is a great way to ensure authorized users are accessing your systems. Using muti-factor authentications and strong complex passwords will provide additional security to your account.
- Update Your Software: Installing an anti-virus software as well as consistently updating your software will help prevent or stop threats before they can occur. Using outdated software gives hackers an opportunity to find the software’s security weaknesses to launch an attack.
In the digital age, cybersecurity is indispensable for nonprofits. It safeguards finances, sensitive data, and operations. Limited resources make nonprofits vulnerable, but they can act:
Employee Training: Educate staff about cyber threats and establish clear security protocols.
Passwords and Authentication: Strengthen user logins with multi-factor authentication and strong passwords.
Update Software: Keep software up-to-date and install antivirus protection.
By prioritizing these steps, nonprofits can protect their mission, donors, and beneficiaries in an ever-evolving digital landscape.