What Cybersecurity Tips Must Every Non-Profit Organization Follow?

Lax cybersecurity measures leave your donor data at risk for being sold on the dark web…

The Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact found that online giving grew over 17% between 2016 and 2018 alone. Financial transactions, including charitable donations, are taking place online more than ever before. If you’re taking online donations, you’re at an increased risk for attack. So what can you do to protect your donor data? It’s all about having the right cybersecurity measures in place. But for many non-profit organizations, budgetary constraints or insufficient technology support leaves them unable to fully invest in the cybersecurity measures they need.

What are the risks of lax cybersecurity measures for non-profit organizations?

Nonprofit organizations store a ton of donor data, which can be incredibly lucrative for cybercriminals looking to make a quick buck on the dark web. In fact, cybercriminals know non-profit organizations tend to have lax cybersecurity measures. That’s why they’re targeting non-profit organizations more than ever before. Plus, donor data typically contains a whole host of valuable details. Look at the going rate for each piece of data on the dark web:

  • Social insurance numbers: $1 each
  • Online payment login information: $20 – $200 each
  • Driver’s license: $25 each
  • Credit or debit card details: $5 – $115 each
  • Medical records $100 – $1,000 each

As you can see, cybercriminals can make quite a bit of money if they manage to get into your systems. If your donor data ends up on the dark web, those who donated are at risk for identity theft, financial theft, and various other problems.

What should non-profit organizations do to keep their donor data safe?

The best way for non-profit organizations to keep their donor data safe is working with an experienced team of cybersecurity professionals. Most IT companies will be able to provide a range of services at a flat-rate monthly fee that fits into your budget – making it cost-efficient to have the protection necessary. In the meantime, here are 5 cybersecurity tips every non-profit organization MUST follow:

  1. Keep software up-to-date with the latest patches and bug fixes. This applies to any applications you’re using, as well as all anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-malware software used.
  2. Follow password best practices including requiring all users to come up with complex passwords made of a mix of numbers, letters, and characters. You should also require all users to change them regularly.
  3. Review your payment processing system to ensure it follows industry standards, including TLS protocols designed to authenticate transaction parties and encrypt data for optimal protection.
  4. Provide cybersecurity awareness training on a regular basis so every staff member and volunteer knows what to look for, how to respond to threats, and how to stay safe while using the network.
  5. Conduct a risk assessment via a third-party to thoroughly review your environment – looking for vulnerabilities and/or weak points and offering recommendations to resolve them.

Need a team of experienced cybersecurity professionals to help you put the 5 tips above into action? SureTec is here to help. We provide IT security solutions and IT consulting in Portland for non-profit organizations. Call (503) 389-8015 to get started.

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Nick Hess

Nick Hess is an authority for IT services in Portland, OR. Nick's team at SureTec IT has helped numerous companies with their day-to-day IT service needs. Nick also has years of experience with Google G Suite, Microsoft 365, and business VoIP Services.

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