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Why Non-Profit Organizations Need Risk Assessments and Strong Cybersecurity

By Apptega on August 2, 2018

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Why Non-Profit Organizations Need Risk Assessments and Strong Cybersecurity

August 2, 2018 | BY Apptega


(This article was originally posted August 2, 2018. It has been updated as of July 30, 2019.)

Why Data Protection is Important for Non-Profits

For the majority of nonprofit organizations, risk assessments emphasize the protection of funding and reputational damage. However, cyber criminals are becoming more aware of the sensitive information gathered by nonprofits, such as social security numbers, billing information, health information, donor credentials, and confidential emails. Therefore, prevention of data breaches should be one of the main focuses of nonprofit risk assessments today. They have the potential to cause just as much damage to a nonprofit organization as a loss of funding or a mishap that affects their reputation negatively.

Primary Target Data:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Billing Information
  • Health Information
  • Donor Credentials
  • Confidential Emails

More than Just Money

As hackers became a major threat to companies throughout recent years, they mainly focused on larger businesses with confidential credit card information, specifically retail stores. However, hackers have now discovered that nonprofit organizations are an easy target, because most of them do not have a strong cybersecurity posture to prevent criminals from coming in and stealing private data. For example, “In Muncie, Indiana, a small nonprofit organization called the Little Red Door had all their data stolen from their server and held ransom for a whopping $43,000. If the nonprofit paid, the hackers claimed, they would return the data and not publish it.” - Sheela Nimishakavi, author at the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Money is not the only thing at stake for nonprofits who become victims of data breaches. If word of a data breach against nonprofits gets out, it causes members to be more hesitant to become involved, leading to a decrease in funding. If donors do not feel the organizations will take the proper measures to ensure the protection of their sensitive information, they are much more reluctant to contribute. In order for nonprofits to maintain a consistent flow of incoming funding, it is important for them to protect their reputation by ensuring their sensitive data will not be stolen.

How Do Non-Profits Prevent Cyber Breaches?

The first step is choosing the cybersecurity framework you'd like to follow. Then Apptega can help you build, manage, and report your cybersecurity plan. With the option to work based off the foundation of an established or customized framework, nonprofit organizations have the ability to follow a plan customized specifically to their company’s needs and preferences. Apptega provides a place for security leaders within your organization to hold people accountable for their responsibilities through task delegation, as well as year-round budget allocation and management.

We're certain our one-stop cybersecurity shop will help non-profits like you prevent cyber attacks.

Want more info? Watch our non-profit cybersecurity panel discussion to learn why cybersecurity should be at the top of your watch list or use the button below to schedule a demo.


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