While nonprofits focus on helping others or serving the less fortunate, cybersecurity attacks do not spare them. In any case, they are at a higher risk of such attacks with the data they collect from donors.
From business interruption, reputation harm, and data loss, cyberattacks can have a devastating impact on nonprofits. Cyberattacks often target personally identifiable information like names, email addresses, banking information, and social security numbers.
Numerous data storage locations also complicate the cybersecurity capabilities of different nonprofits. Nonprofits should watch out for cybersecurity threats arising from various sources, including:
Are you running a nonprofit organization in New Jersey? Here are key cybersecurity nonprofits insights to keep your data and resources intact.
Executing a security assessment provides a glimpse of where your organization can start from. The tech team will also have an easier time managing their budget allocations. Include both a risk assessment and a security infrastructure assessment to understand your security needs.
Take an inventory of all the data you collect along with the storage areas. Then, assess the cost/benefit implications of maintaining your information securely. Streamline your storage processes and diligently discard any data you don’t need.
Perform vulnerability scans, especially for devices originating from home internet connections. These assessments help you know vulnerable areas and focus your resources on mitigating risks in such spots.
Work with your IT provider to develop a plan that guarantees data protection. Combine enterprise-based cybersecurity solutions with a layered defense to block and eliminate emerging threats. The layering approach makes it difficult for hackers to access confidential information.
Consider developing a security policy that describes information about your donors and members. The procedure can also address how members should use and secure personally identifiable information (PII). With a reliable IT security plan, your organization reduces the chances of a data breach.
Updated antivirus software provides the first line of defense against cybersecurity nonprofits threats. The software reduces the risk of malware infecting your network or machines. You could also safeguard your internet connection with a firewall installation. Professional installation services ensure that you configure firewalls to meet your specific needs.
Nonprofits need to envision security breaches and determine how to respond to data loss. Educate both your employees and contractors on how to report data loss. Create rapid and coordinated responses to data breaches to ensure that your reputation remains intact.
Gather information from all departments for a reliable plan. Your IT partner can provide instructions for reacting to destructive malware and isolating networks for robust cybersecurity protection.
Multiple data backups are essential components of a business continuity plan. Specify data to backup, frequency of backing up, storage of this data, and monitor access to your backups. Include an external drive and a secure, online data center in your disaster recovery plan.
The key to reducing business downtime from unforeseen events is to back up frequently and ensure redundancy. Your donors and partners need to know that you can restore saved data and access it remotely when disaster hits. A restorable backup can also bail you out when ransomware locks up or crashes your IT system.
Social engineering attacks and phishing emails are on the rise. Scammers take advantage of human error to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. You run the risk of losing trust with your donors who hold confidentiality in high regard.
With multi-factor authentication, scammers are less likely to make any headways into your systems. This approach requires users to provide an authentication code before they can access different functionalities. Hackers who succeed in retrieving user passwords will hit a dead end when you have MFA in place.
Keep a close eye on user access control to limit hackers’ access points. Keep track of employee access during this remote working period. Whenever an employee leaves your organization, make a point of shutting down their access.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) also presents significant security challenges. Your employees’ mobile devices are prone to external threats and hackers – they can compromise your cybersecurity when connected to your network. Ensure that your team only uses password-protected devices to limit unauthorized access.
As more organizations embrace remote work during this season, your staff needs secure systems for sharing and accessing organization information. With a cloud-based environment and infrastructure, remote workers can share sensitive information quickly and securely.
For a monthly subscription fee per user, you can source cloud services from reputable providers. These solutions guarantee data security while reducing organization downtime.
Find other nonprofits who have implemented robust cybersecurity solutions to get an idea of what you’ll need for your systems. Whether they are using outsourced IT services or an internal IT team, there’s something to learn from how they handle their security needs.
Ask questions to understand what you’ll need to get started.
Can your employees and volunteers spot cybersecurity scams and avoid common pitfalls? Security awareness training helps your team to flash out phishing emails and recognize scam websites – securing confidential data in the long run.
Take time to educate your team on the fact that everyone is responsible for security. Provide continual training on emerging cybersecurity nonprofits issues to make security part of your organizational culture. Discuss various cyber breach scenarios to minimize security issues.
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated as they move towards more personalized phishing attacks. Ongoing training keeps your team on high alert, reducing human error instances while mitigating cybersecurity risks.
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