Cybersecurity Doesn’t Have to Be Confusing: Here’s How Nonprofits can Protect Themselves Without Being Experts
Bad actors count on the fact that many nonprofits might lack the expertise to secure their information, making them easy targets. It’s no secret that many longstanding executive directors struggle with digital literacy and often delegate cybersecurity and tech decisions to others -- until it’s too late. Then, the board, CEO, and leadership staff have to clean up a crisis.
It’s for this very reason that nonprofit organizations are a top target for hackers and 50% of nonprofits have experienced a cyberattack (Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology).
Cybersecurity can be confusing. It has its own language and acronyms, seemingly created to build distance, not unity of effort within an organization. Without the resources (people, processes, or technology) to mitigate this risk, it can be difficult to validate that you have the security measures in place to safeguard your organization from a cyber attack. It’s just not realistic for most nonprofits to protect themselves without assistance.
“A light approach to cybersecurity works well if you are dealing with amateur hackers who are enthusiasts. However, once you enter the realm of motivated, experienced bad actors, the risks exponentially increase. Game over.” -- STRATA9 Cyber Security Team Leader
So, how can you engage in proper cybersecurity prevention and planning when you aren’t an expert?
The most important measure you can take to protect your organization from cyber attacks is to make sure your existing staff is properly trained on cybersecurity protection and can implement simple best practices in their everyday roles. This can be as simple as familiarizing your team with the types of information that pose risks, or gaining an understanding of what kinds of threats exist and simple solutions for preventing them. It’s worth the investment to make sure your team is given training that will help them keep your information protected.
Albeit, there are some cybersecurity components your team just will not fully understand and should not be expected to handle. When it comes to implementing Firewalls, Intrusion Prevention/Detection Systems, Email Security, Computer Network Defense (CND), PKI, and all the other convoluted terms and acronyms, cybersecurity is a foreign language to many. Tasks like these may need experienced attention, but it also doesn’t mean you should be left in the dark.
Nonprofit organizations may be a top target for hackers, but they can also be an easy target for tech companies. When you work with a cybersecurity provider, they can sometimes take your lack of familiarity as an opportunity to build a dependency on them for future maintenance and work. They fail to explain the measures they are implementing and do not explain the reasons, writing it off as too difficult to explain. But this shouldn’t be the case.
STRATA9’s commitment is to create a plan that prioritizes the maximum amount of security within the nonprofit’s budget and risk profile. Our team also offers intensive staff training to help your team understand the important base components of cybersecurity and the measures they can take to protect themselves and the organization from hackers.
We offer an array of services that can help you and your team be prepared with safeguards against hackers.