How Non-Profits can leverage Information Technology (IT) for The Greater Good
Nowadays, even non-profits are leveraging technology to accelerate their mission. Information technology has managed to solve some of the biggest challenges for the non-profit industry. Applications and cloud-based infrastructure have helped non-profits become more efficient and lucrative in regards to helping people. One of the main areas where non-profits leverage IT services is to deal with Cybersecurity threats.
Since Non-profit organizations are a business that deals with personally identifiable data, they are usually a target for hackers. Personally identifiable data is any data that a malicious actor can use to track down a person. Examples of such data can be driver’s licenses, documents, social security numbers, bank statements, and more.
Securing Personally Identifiable Data
Non-profit organizations’ system interfaces are swarming with personally identifiable data. For hackers, such interfaces are goldmines that are full of data they can use for personal gains. Regulations such as GDPR in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy ACT in US address this data and ensures that it’s stored safely.
The amount of data that is stored has become a serious concern over the years. This is because many non-profits have suffered from ransomware attacks, which put them in a precarious position. For this, high-tech cyber security measures have played an integral role in securing non-profit systems, along with their valuable data.
Hackers find this type of data to be very desirable because they can easily exploit it to generate revenue. They can either hold it for ransom, demanding the non-profit organization pay a significant amount, or they can steal this data since it is valued at a very high price on the black market.
Cybersecurity for Non-Profits
When you talk about cybersecurity, you will be doing it a disservice if you think of it as a final destination that will completely secure an organization’s interface. Instead, you have to consider it as an ever-evolving landscape. Cybersecurity refers to the protection of a non-profit’s data from malicious offenders. A cyber attack is an attempt to acquire unauthorized access to information systems so that you can corrupt the data or steal the information for financial gain.
The most common type of cyberattack involves the use of ransomware. Phishing is next on the list of common attacks by cybercriminals. Hackers resort to such methods because they’re easy to implement and have high effectiveness as well. Another type of cyber attack is the denial of service attack, where hackers will use multiple accounts to stop an interface from working by exceeding its maximum capacity.
The landscape for Non-Profits
Thanks to IT integration, non-profits can now feel secure when collecting data. The cyber landscape for non-profit organizations is very intense. The majority of non-profits use social media for marketing and fundraising. Social media followers and donors’ lists are valuable resources for hackers.
Most hackers will initiate their plan by sending phishing emails to donors, followers, and supporters, disguising themselves as entities that are affiliated with the non-profit organization. They will then ask for money on your behalf. In fact, impersonating your organization on social media is a common tactic that they use.
These are just a few examples that prove how big of a threat Cybercrimes are for non-profits. They attack them not only because of the valuable data but also because they have a reputation for being an easy target. Ultimately, non-profit organizations have exactly what hackers want: an unsecured and weak interface holding valuable data.
They are an easy target because most non-profits do not spend enough money on their IT infrastructure or environment. As a non-profit, your stolen data is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to hackers. It is important to understand that all stolen data is resold online on the Dark Web.
Leveraging Information Technology for Business
When unpacking any organization’s problems, you first try to address them by optimizing their use of IT services. This applies greatly to non-profit organizations. Not only will an IT environment help protect their valuable data, but superior analytics will also help them manage data in a much better way.
If you can narrow down the problems your organization is facing, you can establish the IT tools and capabilities you’re lacking and acquire them. Cyber security, like any type of security, has been a prevailing issue for as long as the internet has existed. At the end of the day, it is really about protecting the business’s core assets. This means considering how you’ll protect them and the measures you’re willing to take.
You also have to realize that the people you serve are relying on you to protect their personal integrity. Therefore, you have to make sure that you take all necessary measures, whether it includes training the organization’s employees, deploying important tools, or implementing new systems in place. From a data point of view, trust is a very critical aspect for non-profits and their clients.
When your organization’s data is compromised, you start questioning the value of your business. Therefore, implementing proper Cybersecurity measures is critical to protect your reputation. Taking a well-thought approach and understanding your responsibilities is most important.
Prescient Solutions can Support Non-Profit Mission
Prescient Solutions is one of the leading firms providing IT services to non-profits. We have helped small non-profits reach their goal thanks to innovative solutions. Our commitment to the greater good pushes us to assist non-profits in building their Cybersecurity efforts so they can continue operating with peace of mind.