Nonprofit managers must stay weary of cyberthieves

May 8, 2013

Nonprofit managers must stay weary of cyberthieves

Nonprofit organizations have a lot of critical data in their virtual infrastructure. Information about donors, contact details of investors in the organization and financial figures are just a few of the things that are at risk of being compromised at nonprofits, and suffering from a data breach can be devastating for an entity. Information security has to be top-of-mind for managers at these organizations, and recent statistics from Lieberman Software only make it more important to have the necessary defense infrastructure from cybercriminals.

According to the poll conducted in February at the RSA Conference 2013, 70 percent of IT security professionals would not feel confident betting $100 of their own money that their employer won't be the victim of a data breach in the next six months. Nonprofit managers must take this research to heart and ensure everyone within the organization is doing all they can protect critical information.

"These figures highlight the fact that IT security professionals realize that most organizations are woefully unprotected against cyberattacks," said Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software.

Stay protected from cybercrime
Nonprofit decision makers shouldn't wait until after they've suffered a data breach to take measures to defend the organization from computer hackers and phishing attacks.

"While vendors of conventional security products – like firewalls and anti-virus – are constantly updating their tools to reactively protect against the latest threats, hackers are looking for flaws and engineering new attacks to exploit them," said Lieberman. "The reality is that 100 percent protection is nearly impossible to achieve, but there are still best practices for securing access to critical systems and data that many organizations tend to ignore."

As Lieberman stated, no entity can feel completely safe from cybercrime, but there are still some things nonprofit managers can do ensure the organization is as safe as possible. Here are some pieces of advice from the Better Business Bureau:

  • Don't blindly open emails: Nonprofit managers may not be able to predict who will be sending them emails, but if something seems suspicious, they should research the address and subject line before opening it.
  • Keep an eye on bank accounts: There is no limit to the information that cybecriminals can infiltrate, making it extremely important to check online banking sites frequently for any transactions or withdrawals that seem off.
  • Use strong passwords: Many times professionals will use simple words in email and computer access codes, but there is no easier way to get hacked than by having poor passwords.
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