As a nonprofit, you’re probably in the business of doing good, so it can be hard to fathom that someone would want to take advantage of you, but the reality is that cybercriminals don’t care who you are or what your business is. If you have valuable data, they want it. And given that the nonprofit sector is one that relies heavily on donors trusting you with personal information, including banking and credit card information, a cybersecurity breach can be devastating to your organization.
While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all nonprofit IT security threats if you’re doing business online, there are a number of things you can do to mitigate your risks. Here are four key tips to get you started.
- Ensure you are using software and operating systems that are up-to-date, even if this means you need to pay for upgrades. For example, did you know that Windows XP and older versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported by Microsoft? This means there are no further security patches or updates available and by continuing to use these outdated programs, you are making it infinitely easier for cybercriminals to hack into your computer.
- Ensure volunteers are fully trained on best practices for using business computers and networks. While nonprofits are always eager to get volunteers “up-and-running” as quickly as possible, don’t forget that if they are going to have access to official business devices (or will be using their own devices on your network) they can do your organization more harm than good by accidentally clicking harmful links, leaving donor information unsecured, or being careless with passwords.
- Invest in a reputable email provider and database system that will not only help you manage donors, volunteers, and other supporters but will also act as a partner in keeping this information secure from cybercriminals. It’s 2018, and if you’re still sending mass emails from your personal email account or saving important donor data in an excel spreadsheet, it’s time to upgrade your software and count your blessings that you haven’t already been hacked (that you’re aware of).
- Ensure your online donations are safe by choosing a reputable third-party payment processing vendor that can seamlessly integrate into your website. This allows for your supporters to easily make donations online and feel secure about doing so and allows you to maintain your focus on the mission of your organization rather than processing credit card donations.
If this sounds like a lot to digest, whatever you do, don’t panic. And definitely don’t put off taking action because you’re not sure where to begin. The team of nonprofit IT security experts at ATB are here to help! Want to learn more and ensure your business is properly protected against known cyber threats? Contact us today – the initial no-obligation consultation is always complimentary, and all of our services are customized to your organization’s specific needs.