Non-Profit Cyber Awareness: Common Attack Methods and How to Prevent Them
Because of the sensitive data they have on volunteers and contributors – and an absence of cybersecurity protections in place – non-profit organizations may be more vulnerable to cybersecurity assaults than other kinds of businesses. This article highlights some of the most frequent non-profit cybersecurity threats and how to prevent them, along with increasing your organization’s non-profit cyber awareness.
Non-profits conduct some of the most admirable work in the world for at-risk communities. Charitable organizations impact the globe one person at a time, from financially assisting families and children living through difficult times to giving school funds to kids who would not otherwise have the chance. Sadly, NGOs are vulnerable to cyberattacks due to their perceived big coffers and the inherent dangers associated with regular business.
The COVID-19 epidemic has encouraged many people around the country to give something back during 2020. Non-profit organizations, as well as other businesses, were heavily struck by the crisis, and Americans came up with creative methods to aid others throughout the epidemic. Volunteering has surged throughout the United States since March, with many NGOs providing remote volunteering possibilities to ensure the safety of their volunteers.
The coronavirus outbreak has created uncertainty across the country, putting businesses of all kinds, government organizations, non-profits, healthcare facilities, and individuals at danger of cyberattacks. Cybercriminals frequently use chaotic situations to uncover flaws in systems or to prey on people’s worries. It is now more crucial than ever to be cautious and keep critical information as secure as possible. This is one of the reasons non-profit cyber awareness is very important.
Non-profit Cybersecurity Risks to Avoid
Non-profits are excellent targets for cyberattacks in a variety of ways. Below are some of the most typical hazards linked with the charitable business and ones to raise non-profit cyber awareness:
1. The First Non-profit Cybersecurity Risk: Online Donations
While tech has made it possible for NGOs and philanthropic groups to receive online payments, it has also made it easier for a digital thief to steal from the company. Although payment is simple for the user, having an insecure website opens the door to a cyberattack.
2. The Second Non-profit Cybersecurity Risk: Phishing Scams and Ransomware
Today, interacting with sponsors, partner groups, and customers is an easy procedure. Automated emails and newsletters keep stakeholders informed about what’s going on in the company. However, by replying to emails, you may be placing the company in danger. Clicking on a malicious link, downloading a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file, or simply viewing a PDF file might jeopardize your hard-earned money.
To gain confidential data, cybercriminals utilize phishing emails, a sort of social engineering fraud. They may also implant ransomware, often known as ransom software, on a non-profit’s computer network, preventing access until they collect a quantity of money or execute another task.
3. The Third Non-Profit Cybersecurity Risk: Volunteers
Volunteers donate their time for a variety of reasons, including being a survivor or wishing to contribute to the community. While most volunteers have genuine intentions, a few may offer their time to obtain access to your data repositories. Training time is limited, onboarding is done on the job, and bad actors can occasionally sneak through the cracks, putting your firm in danger of a cyberattack.
Preventing Non-profit Cybersecurity Threats
Non-profit companies are frequent targets of cyberattacks since they may have fewer cybersecurity safeguards in place than some other types of businesses. They also gather a wealth of information about their volunteers and funders, ranging from phone numbers and addresses to credit card data. Although non-profit cybersecurity concerns cannot be eliminated, many hacks may be mitigated — one of the importance of non-profit cyber awareness. Below are some of the most effective approaches to reducing non-profit cybersecurity threats:
1. Secure the Digital Donation System
Encryption and a protected website aid in the protection of information during online banking transactions. Protecting client and corporate data should be a major priority for non-profit cybersecurity, whether accepting donations or payment via an online store.
2. Protect Your Email Communications
Utilizing a secure network and server to gather, sort, and transfer sensitive donor information can aid in the security of your email conversations. A non-profit cybercrime can employ email addresses, physical locations, and other personal identity information.
3. Obtain a Criminal Background Check
Launching the induction process with a background check is among the greatest methods to verify your volunteers are there for the right reasons. In addition to ensuring that you have the correct personnel, teach staff about cybersecurity at the start of their safety training to avoid an inadvertent cyber intrusion and increase non-profit cyber awareness.
Here Comes the Cyber Security Awareness Month
We all know how important non-profit cyber awareness is, and that’s why we join other government agencies, businesses, institutions, associations, charitable organizations, and people in encouraging online safety education during this worldwide cyber awareness month.
Every October, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the United States Department of Homeland Security observe National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). This cyber awareness month was created as a joint effort between both businesses and the government to ensure that all digital citizens have the tools they need to be more secure and safer online while also safeguarding their confidential data. This movement will also help with non-profit cyber awareness specifically.
In 2018 (that is, its 15th year), NCSAM is meant to educate and engage public- and private-sector partners via projects and events to improve cybersecurity awareness to strengthen the nation’s resiliency in the event of a cyber crisis. NCSAM has been legally recognized by federal, Congress, state, and municipal governments, as well as leaders from business and academia, since the Presidential proclamation creating it in 2004. This collaborative effort is required to ensure that cyberspace stays a source of immense opportunity and progress for future generations.