Why Cyber Security Matters for Nonprofits

On the surface, cyber security may seem like something nonprofits don’t have to worry too much about. It’s easy to see how a data breach could spell disaster for a healthcare company or a big financial institution—but who would target a nonprofit, right?

The truth is, cyber criminals don’t really care if your business is doing good things in the world. All they really care about is gaining access to your money, data, or both. And if they see you as an easy target, your altruistic mission isn’t going to stop them.

When bad intentions get in the way of the good

Cyber security is just as important for nonprofits as for any other type of organizations. Most nonprofits store a lot of data on their donors: names, contact information, even some financial details.

Those donors are the power that keeps your organization running, and they help you achieve incredible things. They also trust you to keep their information safe and private.

Even when they don’t threaten your donors’ privacy, cyber attacks can cause your organization serious harm—inflicting financial losses, damaging your branding, and even blocking you from going about your good work.

You may have heard about the Little Red Door fiasco back in January 2017. A small Indiana-based healthcare charity, Little Red Door provides services to people with cancer diagnoses. Out of nowhere, the charity received an email stating that hackers had blocked access to Little Red Door’s client files and financial data. They demanded about $43,000 in exchange for its release.

Luckily, Little Red Door didn’t store any sensitive client information (like social security or bank account details), and as a small organization with a very limited budget, they decided the $43,000 ransom simply wasn’t worth it. While it’s fortunate for both the charity and its clients that no sensitive information was stolen, Little Red Door still had to spend months rebuilding its client database from scratch.

A higher profile organization, The Urban Institute, wasn’t so lucky. The Washington, D.C. think tank was hacked back in 2015—compromising up to 700,000 charitable organizations that use the Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics. Among the data accessed were email addresses, usernames, passwords, and IP addresses.

Keeping nonprofits safe and sound, so you can do good work

Cyber attacks can happen to anyone—but they’re far less likely if your organization has a strong cyber security system in place. While nonprofits often have small IT budgets, there are affordable solutions out there.

It’s your organization’s responsibility to protect both the people you help, and the people that help you. Don’t let malicious attackers get in the way of your mission. Get a helping hand from the cyber security experts at eMazzanti.

We specialize in providing cost-effective IT solutions for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, and we’re ready to help you improve your organization’s tech—and keep donor information safe. Contact us today to learn more.

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