More ways to Protect & Secure Your Nonprofit’s Data – 2022 Updated

Protect & Secure Your Nonprofit's Data

Nonprofits should take steps to protect their information assets from cybercriminals by hardening their IT systems. A significant number of cyberattacks begin with a hacker scanning the internet looking for insecure networks that may provide them with a place to start digging. This is similar to a burglar going from house to house, knocking and trying to open each door. If they find a door that’s open, they go inside and start digging for valuable items to steal.

Many cybercriminals work the same way. They are digging and scanning the internet, looking for organizations with unlocked doors. Network-hardening increases your security by reducing the number of flaws and back doors on your systems which could be exploited by hackers. This is done by removing unnecessary programs, applications, accounts, ports, or permissions across your network. Network-hardening is especially important for nonprofits because they deal with a considerable amount of sensitive data that they collect and use on an ongoing basis.

Keeping this in mind, here are three main categories and threats that nonprofits should be concerned about:

Your organization’s reputation

protect and secure your nonprofit's data

Given the nonprofit’s operation is built upon the generosity of others, they rely heavily on the positive public perception and confidence of their donor base. Losing this would make it hard for a nonprofit to obtain the grants and charitable donations it needs to operate and, as such, could drive away some donors and partners.

Financial costs

protect and secure your nonprofit's data

The financial costs of managing a data breach are growing. These costs include legal guidance, breach notifications, forensics, recovery efforts, and other critical services. The financial impact of a breach can be devastating to nonprofits whose limited funds are focused on serving their communities.

Recovery after a breach

protect and secure your nonprofit's data

A cyber-attack will cause nonprofits who are hyper-focused on their mission to get distracted with dealing with restoring affected systems, assessing impacts of a breach, dealing with PR issues, complying with reporting requirements, and other recovery mechanisms.

To improve your nonprofit’s security, a security assessment is the best step to take. Because before you can fix a problem or invest time and resources into it, you must really be fully committed to understanding it.

Security Assessment

A security assessment – when it’s done the right way – provides valuable insight into your current exposure. It helps you understand the current risks and the current vulnerability that you have. It reveals the type of data you collect and how that data is being stored. If your nonprofit is required to comply with regulatory requirements such as “HIPAA,” it helps you gauge how closely aligned you are with those compliance objectives.

The valuable knowledge that’s gained through a security assessment provides a baseline and a customized guide that provides and helps you make rational decisions towards improving your security assessment.

Now that you know more ways to protect & secure your nonprofit’s data, take a look at these resources that might help you step up your cybersecurity game:

Learn how this guide can help you protect & secure your nonprofit’s data

This nonprofit cybersecurity checklist will help you understand how to protect & secure your nonprofit’s data Use them as a starting point in your next cybersecurity meeting.

This whitepaper will help you understand what the main differences between IT and InfoSec professionals are.

Understand your organization’s current security posture. The knowledge gained through this assessment will help guide the decisions that will need to be made to improve your security and align your risk with acceptable tolerance levels.

Need a team of experienced cybersecurity professionals to help you protect & secure your nonprofit’s data? Makaye InfoSec is here to help. We provide Nonprofit Cybersecurity solutions. Schedule a meeting to get started.

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