Nonprofit leaders may think hackers have no interest in them, but this is a false assumption. Any organization that contains private data such as credit card numbers is at risk. In fact, any nonprofit that receives charitable donations represents a lucrative target to cyber criminals. Donor information is a veritable goldmine for hackers. Nonprofits rely on their donors’ trust; a breach can decimate it. Without donors, nonprofits cannot continue operations. The following are simple ways to improve cyber security.
- Prioritize data security. With all of the expenses involved in operating a nonprofit, it is easy to overlook cyber security. Smaller nonprofits in particular may overlook it because they have fewer sources of income. They may assume because they have fewer or smaller donors they are a less appealing target. However, this is not the case. Hackers know smaller nonprofits are less likely to guard their data as strongly as larger nonprofits do. Smaller charities are an easier target so it is vital to take cyber security seriously.
- Upgrade and update software. Computers that operate on outdated software are not just less efficient, they are more at risk. This is because software companies stop sending out security updates, leaving outdated technology vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, updating software is not always enough. Dated technology is at risk as well. If nonprofits are using computers that are more than a decade old, it is probably time to upgrade. Newer computers are less susceptible to data breaches because they were built with cyber security in mind.
- Focus on staff training. Most data breaches are not the result of a cunning hacker cracking the system. They are usually the result of human error. Training employees on how to recognize phishing scams, fraudulent emails, and more can go a long way toward protecting sensitive data. Training employees on password strength is also crucial. Despite repeated warnings, many people use simple passwords such as 12345678, qwerty123, or the term password itself. Even strong passwords are useless if employees use it for the same login on all of their accounts. If a hacker discovers the strong password, that individual gains access to several accounts. Putting in safeguards such as limiting what staff members can download at the office can help reduce unintentional malware installation as well.
- Invest in cyber security insurance. While the above tips can help prevent cyberattacks, nonprofits need to have a plan in place should the worst happen. Cyber security insurance can help nonprofits recover expenses related to the hack, implement damage control to maintain their reputation, and more.
SteelBridge Insurance Services can help nonprofit identity cyber risks unique to their operation as well as recommend solutions. To learn more about protecting your nonprofit from cyberattacks, contact us today.