Organizations should develop a better way to communicate cyberrisks

September 9, 2013

Organizations should develop a better way to communicate cyberrisks

When nonprofits migrate their processes to the cloud, it is important for them to become aware of the looming cyberthreats that could put critical information in jeopardy. However, a new study from Tripwire, a global provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions, revealed 64 percent of IT professionals surveyed don't communicate apparent risks with senior executives.

Nonprofit leaders that are in charge of the security of a lot of confidential donor information and credit card data must be made aware of potential threats to prepare the organization in the event of a data breach. IT staff members who fail to communicate looming risks could seriously damage a nonprofit's reputation.

"Risk-based security is an extremely complex problem where predictability and outcomes are constantly changing," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "This means that even the most secure and sophisticated organizations experience risk because there are too many variables in play."

The lines of communication should be improved
Forty-seven percent of the more than 1,300 IT professionals that were surveyed said collaboration between security risk management and decision-makers is poor. With a fractured communication structure, nonprofits run the risk of suffering a data breach. Data security should be a higher priority for nonprofits, especially those that have begun to conduct operations in the cloud.

According to an article for the Nonprofit Technology Network, charitable organizations should be even more protective than traditional businesses of their sensitive data. Donors who contribute to nonprofits are not doing so because they have to, they are sending in money to support the mission of the organization. Failing to provide a secure environment for donors will not only cut the number of people interested in giving to the organization, but it will also dramatically affect revenue streams.

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