2020 Nonprofit Agenda

CYBERSECURITY in 2021

Cybersecurity. It may not be a delightful, feel-good topic ... but there’s no rule that says it has to leave you fearful and confused! is article touches on why cybersecurity deserves your attention, factors that are increasing vulnerability to cyberattacks right now, and a few steps nonprots can take toward better security and peace of mind. As a nonprot leader, you’re probably well aware that cybersecurity is an area of increasing concern. But maybe you’re not sure how much of a risk it poses for your nonprot, or what you should be doing about it. If you’re still under the illusion that cybersecurity is something you can ignore or keep on your “we’ll get to that some- day” list, let me set the record straight. Myth: Nonprots are less vulnerable or less desirable targets for hackers because their data is less valuable —and who would be so mean as to attack a nonprot? Fact: Security breaches happen to nonprots regularly. Your nonprot keeps sensitive data like addresses, birth dates and nancial information about the people you serve—and if you’re like many others, you under-invest in security. at makes you an easy target and a stepping stone to bigger targets like foundations and government agencies. And hackers are oen acting for prot. ey don’t care about your mission. Devastating consequences e costs of a security breach can be crippling—and not just in dollars. Although one report estimated that ransomware victims paid an average of $6,000, that does

not begin to take into account the cost of the disruption to your business and the reputational harm you might suer as a result of a breach. If you suddenly lost access to your data or had all your les deleted, that could bring your programs and services to a halt until you were able to restore everything. If constituent data was compro- mised, what would that do to your reputation—not to mention the harm it might cause to people you serve? And in the midst of a pandemic, civil unrest and natural disasters, the stakes are even higher. Current events add fuel to the fire e COVID-19 pandemic has many nonprot sta working from home. Some of the security risks that emerge along with a distributed, home-based workforce include the following:  Personal use of work computers comes with a greater likelihood of visiting malicious websites and down- loading harmful applications.  Home networks and personal devices provide less organizational control of security measures, such as rewalls, antivirus and antimalware, and screen locks.  IT professionals are stretched thin, trying to support a nonstandard eet of devices and environments from a distance.  Sta are learning and experimenting with new chan- nels for communication and collaboration, some of which are unsanctioned and lacking in enterprise security features. Add illness, grief, hurricanes, forest res, injustice, uprising, and a divisive election to the mix, and you have a scenario in which people are stressed out, spread thin, prone to mistakes, and tempted to take shortcuts around security measures.

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