Is your nonprofit organization using any cybersecurity tools to protect its sensitive, valuable data? The reality is, cybersecurity attacks are becoming more common, and more damaging to the organizations that are being targeted. And unfortunately, even nonprofits and charities are not an exception, as the recent ransomware attack on two Ontario Children’s Aid societies shows.

Cybersecurity attacks can be extremely detrimental to victims, especially to nonprofits. Take, for example, a ransomware attack on Family and Children’s Services that encrypted most of their servers and cost the agency $100,000 in cyber insurance. Or, consider the recent malware attack on Children’s Aid Society that locked them out of online files containing sensitive data about the children and families they serve.

So, what can nonprofits do to protect themselves from future cybersecurity attacks? This blog looks at two tools that will help strengthen the security posture of your nonprofit organization, including the features and benefits that make them a strategic choice to implement.

 

What is a ransomware and phishing attack?

In case you’re not familiar with these types of cyberattacks, let’s take a quick moment and walk you through what ransomware and phishing attacks are. Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of security breaches out there, given its profitability for cybercriminals. Ransomware is a type of malware that infects your computer and either locks you out completely, encrypts your files so you lack access to them, or threatens to release private information if you don’t pay a ransom.

A phishing attack is a common type of online identity theft wherein the attacker tries to trick the recipient into some action from a seemingly legitimate email address. For example, they might try and persuade the recipient to open a link or attachment, reply to an email, wire money, or divulge personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or account details.

 

Two nonprofit cybersecurity tools to improve your security posture

Because any organization, regardless of the size or industry it belongs to, can be a target of a cybercriminal, nonprofit organizations should know what cybersecurity tools are available to them and implement the right one(s) to improve their cybersecurity posture. Here are two effective tools ProServeIT recommends: Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Nonprofit Cybersecurity Tool #1 – Office 365 ATP

Office 365 ATP protects against unsafe attachments and malicious links by safeguarding your email, files and Office 365 applications against potential attacks. Office 365 ATP has several benefits and features, including:

  • Real-time protection from sophisticated attacks: Office 365 ATP protects the applications you’re using from any new, sophisticated attacks in real time, such as mailboxes, online storage, and files.
  • Protection against unsafe attachments: Office 365 ATP provides a malware-free, cleaner inbox, and uses safe attachments to protect against unsafe attachments.
  • Visibility of potential targets and threats: Office 365 ATP helps you predict who will be targeted in your organization and the type of attack their server might face.
  • Unsafe link blocking: Office 365 ATP prevents users from clicking on unsafe links and either informs them that the site has been blocked, or warns them not to visit the site.
  • URL trace capabilities: Office 365 ATP allows your organization to track which individual has clicked a malicious link in the messages they’ve received.

Nonprofit Cybersecurity Tool #2 – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA adds an extra layer of protection by going beyond the typical username and password. With MFA enabled, users are required to authenticate themselves in two ways. The first step usually involves entering traditional username and password information, while the second step includes a physical component that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate. For example, scanning a user’s fingerprint or retina, swiping a card key and entering a PIN, or logging into a website and using a one-time password. MFA also has several other benefits and features, including:

  • Protection against compromised user credentials: MFA can safeguard points of authentication that are often overlooked, including email and business applications.
  • Protection against lost or stolen devices: MFA prevents unauthorized users from accessing your accounts if your device or password is stolen.
  • Compliance with federal or provincial security standards: MFA can assist nonprofit organizations in meeting the regulatory compliance requirements specific to their industry.
  • Dramatically reduces the likelihood of unauthorized access: MFA mitigates the risk of data breaches by requiring users to provide a physical piece of information, rather than relying on mere password strength to access sensitive data.

 

Improve your nonprofit’s cybersecurity posture.

Nonprofit cybersecurity attacks can happen at any time, and the result can be damaging for you and the people and communities you serve. So, it is best practice to safeguard your nonprofit organization against cyberattacks by implementing tools that can detect potential threats before they become realized threats. How to get started? Click here to learn more about the two tools and how we can help you.