Non-profit organizations often underestimate their risk of cyber attacks. This leaves them more vulnerable than they realize and oftentimes an easier target than other kinds of companies. Yet failing to prioritize cybersecurity could have major effects—data losses, financial catastrophe, damaged reputation or even the need to shut down the organization altogether. Studies show that non-profits do suffer attacks and are predictably unprepared for them. Luckily there are Microsoft 365 plans for non-profits that can work with this type of organization’s unique conditions.
Why do non-profits underestimate their risk?
Some smaller non-profits assume that they don’t have anything of much value to hackers, so the attackers won’t target them. This isn’t true, though. Non-profits rely on donations, which means they likely have credit card information and lists of donors’ names and addresses. So whether it’s a small, understaffed non-profit or a multi-national non-profit, the organization needs to control access to data and protect the privacy of its donors.
Some non-profits are aware of the need for cybersecurity, but they don’t make the changes they should because of budget constraints. If they’re strapped for cash and focused on their organization’s mission, they likely won’t have an IT on-site team. They also may not be doing research on their security options. If this is the case, they may be unprotected for no good reason–because affordable and even free security is available.
Aspects to consider
Some of the questions non-profits should ask themselves are:
- How will we protect our donor information?
- Are we keeping proper control of our own users’ access?
- How do we prevent email hacks?
- Do we accept donated computer equipment, and if so how will we standardize configurations?
- What are our options for IT outsourcing?
- Which on-site team member(s) will be in charge of IT decisions and communications?
- What is at stake if we do get attacked?
Steps to take and Microsoft 365 plans for non-profits
It’s a good idea within a non-profit organization to be careful about who has access to data. Once a person has stopped volunteering at a charity, for example, the organization should be sure to erase that person’s credentials. These accounts should be monitored continually. A great way to do this would be with a SIEM + SOAR package like Azure Sentinel.
Non-profits should tap into the relatively easy, low-cost options out there to protect their data and keep them running smoothly. Microsoft offers a free security package for up to 50 users, and Microsoft also gives $3,500/year in Azure spending for cloud-native SIEM.
See our article on Microsoft 365 for Education as well.