Cybersecurity refers to the protection of IT systems so that malicious hackers are not able to exploit your data. A cyber attack is therefore a malicious attempt to either corrupt the data or steal it for various reasons. The most common reason for data theft is financial gain, while other reasons pertain to extortion.
The most common forms that you see include ransomware and phishing. These threats are common because they are easy to implement and have a high rate of success for malicious actors.
Cybersecurity Landscape and Threats to Nonprofits
Cyber attacks are now more prevalent than ever. About 54% of organizations have experienced at least one cyber attack in the past. These organizations also include all types of non-profit organizations. The institute of critical infrastructure and technology states that 50% of NGOs or Nonprofits have had to face ransomware attacks in the last year.
This is very evident to where the industry may be headed and also presents the trends for the cyber security landscape in the future. Ransomware is the biggest threat to nonprofits by far. It is highly effective in gaining financial payouts. Companies worldwide opt to pay the ransom instead of trying to recover their data since it is a painstaking and costly process.
As ransomware starts to transition in popularity, nonprofits need to be careful of larger payout demands. Nonprofits usually do not have the financial holdings to pay a large sum of money to recover their data. Nonprofit organizers have to note that ransomware is not an ethereal entity that enters into your system without human intervention.
Instead, ransomware is a result of a phishing attack in which the attacker deceives someone into providing the program with access credentials. These phishing setups are quite sophisticated and hackers deploy many creative methods to gain access to a system. There are three primary ways that threat populations attack your information systems.
Some of the ways include human attacks, social engineering attacks, and technical attacks. Cyber attacks are generally performed in a combined fashion. For instance, a social engineering attack will be followed by technical attacks.
Since nonprofits have limited resources and finances, it can become incredibly difficult for nonprofits to face cyber attacks. The average cost of cyber attacks in the United States was 8.64 million dollars in 2020. This number is expected to rise in 2021. There are about 1.8 million nonprofits in the US, and none of them can afford millions worth of cyber attacks.
A cyber attack for nonprofits is therefore a business-ending situation. Nonprofits need to budget for cyber security if they want to avoid business-ending outcomes. Cyber insurance is one solution that can help businesses answer more detailed questions regarding their security. Budgeting for security in the modern day is purely a business cost for moving forward into the industry.
Nonprofits need to build a culture around the organization which emphasizes security for all workers in the organization. This culture should also be paired with a plan for an increase in the cyber security budget. Nonprofits can also collaborate with managed service providers that can help them assess current risks, holes, and weaknesses.
This will allow organizations to implement a strategy that helps prevent cyber-attacks and mitigate the risks of a data breach. An outside third party has a sound understanding of the threat landscape not just for your industry but also for your geographic location. Ultimately, having a trusted partner audit controls to ensure that a nonprofit’s revenue aligns with the best practices for cyber security.
How does it help the Nonprofit Industry?
Equipped with a strategy that is fluid enough to adapt to the changing cyber security landscape, nonprofit organizations can avoid the negative impacts of a breach. Implementing cyber security culture and adhering to a methodology is vital for growth as well. Having a cyber security framework set up by an MSP can help the nonprofit industry become prosperous in the coming year.
Start implementing Cybersecurity Measures today!
The nonprofit industry is crucial for the well-being of the unfortunate. Prescient Solutions is a managed service provider that has expertise in providing technical solutions to nonprofits. To find out more, visit their website, or fill out their form for queries.