Does your nonprofit have a cyber security plan? Data thieves and other cyber criminals don’t limit their attacks to large, high-profile organizations. Nonprofit organizations handle volumes of sensitive data every day. Those include donor information, client records, credit card numbers, confidential correspondence (emails, etc), and other transactions.

If your nonprofit has a computer network and/or collects personal or financial information (and what nonprofit doesn’t?), you risk data theft. If you don’t already have effective policies and sophisticated protections in place, your organization could be the next headline.

Here are 5 Simple But Effective First Steps to Protect Your Nonprofit From a Cyber Attack:

  • Remove the element of human error. Automate software updates on all computers instead of relying on staff members who may be tempted to procrastinate on such updates.
  • Install antivirus and antispyware software. Many of these programs are available for free or cheap, but do your research to decide which works best for your nonprofit.
  • Check the wireless router and the settings on your nonprofit’s computer operating systems. Make sure that firewall protection is enabled. Firewalls monitor and control the incoming and outgoing network traffic and screen out viruses and hacking attempts. They are often set by default in routers and operating systems, but it is prudent to double-check.
  • Set a strong password for the wireless router. The password should consist of many characters and use several different character types. It is also wise not to publicly broadcast your nonprofit’s wireless network name or SSID.
  • Require every employee to have his or her own unique login name and password to access computers. This is a helpful measure because it makes it easier to detect the origin of questionable activity on your nonprofit’s network. It further prevents individual employees from continuing to have access to organization data once they are no longer employees. Require that these passwords are routinely changed.

While you can’t put a monetary value on the information your nonprofit collects, a cybersecurity breach can be costly, racking up large sums of legal fees, wasting staff time and hurting your nonprofit’s reputation. A traditional insurance policy such as general liability does not protect your organization against such cyber attacks.

Discuss cyber liability coverage with your insurance agent and your organization’s board of directors. Weigh the benefits of purchasing cyber liability coverage. Cyber Liability covers damage to both your organization and third parties (donors, grantmakers, clients and other stakeholders), including costs associated with litigation, forensic and regulatory investigations, crisis management, reputation repair, credit monitoring, data restoration and business interruption. Many companies that offer cyber liability coverage also offer risk management resources to minimize your exposure to risk.

For more information, contact your trusted local insurance agent, Sandi Purinton with The Insurance Connection. We help our clients Live Better. Save More. That’s what we try to help you do at The Insurance Connection. Offering the benefits of an independent agency, The Insurance Connection carefully considers your individual insurance needs and finds the right coverage for the best price for you, all with a smile. Contact us today at 678-439-8757 or to get free insurance quotes

Disclaimer: This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusions. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. The Insurance Connection welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.