Cloud security should be a top concern for nonprofits

May 22, 2013

Cloud security should be a top concern for nonprofits

Many nonprofits are beginning to realize the benefits posed by cloud computing, but it's important to always consider the risks associated with using the online storage solution for housing information about donors, finances and other critical data. Recent research from global enterprise software company NetIQ revealed almost 70 percent of IT executives said their consumer cloud services pose a risk to sensitive data in their organizations, while 45 percent are not completely sure their cloud provider's security processes and programs meet their data security requirements.

Nonprofit decision-makers must keep these statistics in mind when choosing what information should be stored in the cloud, as well as how the organization will form its data security strategies. Using password encryption, testing password strength and investing in antivirus software are just a few ways nonprofits can keep their cloud environment safe from cybercriminals and computer hackers.

"Data-centric security programs remain the most targeted and effective way to build security programs ready to embrace the complexities inherent in adopting cloud," said Geoff Webb, director, Solution Strategy at NetIQ. "Identifying sensitive data, applying appropriate layers of protection around that data, and tracking who is accessing it remain the best ways to respond to threats, meet regulatory requirements and minimize organizational risk."

Many nonprofits are centered around a cause that needs funding, and losing money on a data breach is simply not an option. Having security solutions in place, as well a strategy for how to deal with potential threats, is vital in keeping the organization's cloud secure. If members of staff are using their mobile devices to carry out business tasks, it's important their smartphones and tablets have the same protections as all computers and technology that are used within the nonprofit.

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