Cybersecurity Statistics for Non-profits: Protecting Sensitive Data and Donor Information

In recent years, non-profit organizations have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Non-profits are often seen as easy targets due to their limited resources and outdated IT systems. A successful cyber attack can result in the loss of sensitive data and donor information, and damage one’s reputation. In this blog post, we will explore some of the latest cybersecurity statistics and trends for non-profits, and provide tips on how to protect your organization from cyber threats.

Non-profits are prime targets for cyber attacks

Non-profits are often seen as easy targets by cybercriminals due to their lack of resources and outdated IT systems. According to a report by TechSoup, 58% of non-profits experienced a cybersecurity incident in 2021, and 71% of those incidents resulted in a financial loss. Non-profits need to invest in cybersecurity to protect their sensitive data and donor information.

Non-profits often rely on their donors and supporters to maintain their operations, and a data breach or cyber attack can result in a loss of trust from those donors. A successful cyber attack can result in the loss of sensitive data such as personal information and financial records, which can be used for identity theft or fraud. Non-profits must prioritize their cybersecurity efforts to avoid the financial and reputation damage that can result from a cyber attack. 

Phishing attack

Phishing attacks are on the rise

Phishing attacks are a common form of cyber attack and are becoming more sophisticated. In fact, according to a report by Verizon, 96% of all phishing attacks are now conducted via email. Non-profits need to educate their employees on how to identify and report phishing emails. Implementing multi-factor authentication can also help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. 

Phishing emails often appear to be legitimate and may include a request for personal information or a link to a malicious website. Non-profits must educate their employees on how to identify and report phishing emails to avoid falling victim to these attacks. Implementing multi-factor authentication can also help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data by requiring additional verification before allowing access to a system or application. To learn more about how to protect your non-profit from phishing attacks, check out this link:

Ransomware attacks are more common than you would think

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common and involve encrypting an organization’s data and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of ransomware attacks is expected to reach $20 billion by 2023. Non-profits must have a disaster recovery plan in place to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack.

A ransomware attack can be devastating for non-profits, especially if they do not have a disaster recovery plan in place. A successful attack can result in the loss of critical data and disrupt operations for an extended period of time. It’s important for non-profits to have a plan in place to ensure they can recover from a ransomware attack as quickly as possible. To learn more about creating a disaster recovery plan, check out this link:

Prioritize cybersecurity training

Organizations must prioritize cybersecurity training

According to a report by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 95% of all cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Non-profits need to prioritize cybersecurity training for their employees and volunteers to prevent these types of incidents. Training should cover topics such as password hygiene, phishing awareness, and safe browsing practices.

Non-profits must ensure their employees and volunteers understand the importance of cybersecurity and how to identify and report potential threats. Regular cybersecurity training can help prevent human error from causing a cybersecurity breach. Additionally, non-profits should enforce strong password policies, limit access to sensitive data, and implement security controls to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

Organizations must take data protection regulations seriously

Non-profits must comply with data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and reputational damage. Non-profits need to ensure they have appropriate data protection policies and procedures in place. These policies should cover topics such as data retention, access control, and data breach reporting. Non-profits should also appoint a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee their data protection efforts.

Non-profits should also consider using cybersecurity frameworks such as the Cybersecurity Framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to guide their cybersecurity efforts. These frameworks provide a structured approach to cybersecurity that can help non-profits identify and manage cybersecurity risks.

Cybersecurity infrastructure

Prioritize IT infrastructure updates

Non-profits often rely on outdated IT systems and software due to limited resources. However, outdated systems and software can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Non-profits should prioritize IT infrastructure updates to ensure their systems and software are up-to-date and secure. This includes updating operating systems, software applications, and hardware components.

Non-profits should also consider implementing security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems to help prevent cyber attacks. These security measures can help protect non-profit systems and data from cyber threats.

Organizations must take cybersecurity seriously 

Cyber attacks can result in significant financial and reputation damage, which can be difficult to recover from. Non-profits must prioritize cybersecurity training, data protection, and IT infrastructure updates to reduce the risk of a cyber attack. By implementing these measures, non-profits can better protect their operations and the sensitive data of their donors and supporters.

“Cyber Security for Non-Profit Organizations”, A2D Consultants,

“The Necessity of Cybersecurity in the Non-Profit Sector”, Forbes,

“2022 Data Breach Investigations Report”, Verizon,

“Stay Safe Online”, National Cyber Security Alliance,

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