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5 Key Strategies to Prevent Cyber Security Issues

According to research by the University of Maryland, it is found that Hackers attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times a day. (From University of Maryland research)

 


How prepared is your organization to counter the cybersecurity threat?

Five key strategies that your Association or Nonprofit can implement:

  1. Strengthen Governance: Tighten security by adopting a comprehensive cybersecurity policy, including encryption and multi-factor authentication. This helps protect against unauthorized access to your network and sensitive data. If you lack a dedicated IT person, consider assigning these responsibilities to a tech-savvy staff member or discuss them with your IT provider. 

  2. Promote Cybersecurity Awareness: Educate employees, volunteers, and donors about the dangers of phishing attacks, the importance of secure passwords, and recognizing and reporting suspicious activities. Effective training helps employees identify and respond to incidents swiftly, preventing the incidents from escalating. According to research by Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), organizations that did not provide fraud awareness training lost nearly 2x more compared to organizations that did.


3. Implement Regular Security Audits: Ensure that you are following through with your governance by conducting regular audits of your applications, servers, and network. Document and share the findings with the executive team. If you lack the in-house resources to conduct these audits, consider allocating a budget to hire an external consultant. A small investment in prevention can save you hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the event of a breach.

 

 

4Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: Having backups and a disaster recovery plan ensures your critical data can be recovered quickly, reducing downtime and preserving the continuity of your operations, in case of a cybersecurity incident. Regular backups should be performed and stored securely off-site or in the cloud (online), allowing for easy access when needed. 

 

5. Analyze and Learn from Incidents: Despite your best efforts, incidents may occur. Conducting a thorough Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to understand why an incident happened and prevent future occurrences is crucial. Sharing these learnings within your sector can help enhance cybersecurity measures across the board.


All images source: image source: ACFE Report 2024

“Prevention is better than cure. The ability of nonprofits to protect themselves is pretty much the lowest you can find across industry ranges. Therefore, it becomes imperative to follow the above key strategies to prevent issues.”

 

Food for thought: When was the last time you audited your website, website host, AMS/CRM, Donor Management, Fundraising, Finance, Marketing, and other systems?

 

Contact us today if you’d like to discuss the state of cyber security in your organization.