IT Support for Nonprofits: Understanding Your Unique Needs

No matter what kind of nonprofit organization you run, chances are you’re trying to be tech-forward while managing a wealth of personal information. Juggling all your daily operations’ tech and security elements while also focusing on delivering quality services and growing your nonprofit can feel stressful at best — and near impossible at worst. That’s why hiring outsourced IT support for nonprofits and cybersecurity support is such a smart option.

In this blog, we’ll go over IT support for nonprofits: some of the main cybersecurity risks nonprofits encounter and how to stay protected to keep everything running smoothly.

[Related: 6 Best Practices for Data Backup in the Finance Industry]

Common Cybersecurity Risks for Nonprofits

Because nonprofits handle and create large amounts of data, they can easily be big targets for cybercriminals looking for chances to exploit and manipulate any vulnerabilities. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity risks for nonprofit organizations.

man who stole laptop typing on computer, it support for nonprofits

Lost or Stolen Personal Devices

With so many nonprofits implementing remote or hybrid working arrangements, it’s quite common for staff to use their own personal devices, like smartphones and tablets. In fact, 71% of nonprofits let their staff members use unsecured personal devices to access work information. 

While most organizations use cloud solutions for ease and accessibility, confidential data and passwords can be compromised if a device is lost or stolen.

Phishing Emails

Some of the most common cyberattacks are phishing scams. These phony emails pretend to be from authentic sources and often target small businesses and nonprofits. The emails then ask the recipient to click a link, download an attachment or respond with sensitive data. 

With so many nonprofit staff shuffling multiple responsibilities and speaking to dozens of third parties, it can be easy to fall for this scam.

it training, it support for nonprofits

Limited Cybersecurity Knowledge

Nonprofits frequently rely on volunteers and jack-of-all-trades staff to run everything from fundraising efforts and marketing to administrative duties and IT. This lack of resources and expertise — especially when it comes to cybersecurity — can make maintaining the proper security measures difficult. Without proper (and consistent) staff cybersecurity training, nonprofits create a new layer of vulnerability.

No Disaster Recovery or Data-Backup Plan

Nearly 70% of nonprofits don’t have documented policies and procedures in the instance of a cybersecurity attack. Without a disaster recovery or robust data-backup plan, the likely downtime your nonprofit will experience skyrockets. Make sure your organization has a well-documented and easy-to-understand plan in place to avoid losing confidential data and interrupting daily operations.

[Related: IT Procurement for Healthcare: Where To Start]

How To Stay Protected

Increasing cybersecurity and using data-protection best practices should be high priorities for all nonprofits. Here are a few ways to stay protected.

Assess Current Cybersecurity Measures

Conduct a thorough audit of your current IT support and cybersecurity strategies. This allows you to find where your organization shows weaknesses, risks and areas for improvement. Plus, an audit can help you create a plan of action.

Upgrade Hardware, Software and Computers

Because older technology is far more susceptible to cybersecurity threats, it’s critical to keep your hardware and computers up to date. Similarly, make sure you run software from a reliable provider and keep it current. Although monetary constraints could be preventing you from making these updates, consider how much more of a financial burden it would be to deal with a data breach — not to mention the reputational damage.

Protect Your Network

Whether your nonprofit runs a hybrid or remote work environment, it’s essential to protect your network. Make sure employees who handle data and confidential information away from the office protect their connection via a virtual private network (VPN) for encryption.

Train Your Employees

One of the biggest vulnerabilities for nonprofit organizations is that they lack proper cybersecurity training. This is often the leading cause of cyberattacks, but you can reduce your risk. Train your employees and volunteers regularly on common mistakes, best practices and how to handle sensitive data.

Hire a Managed IT Services Provider

Hiring a managed IT services provider like CMIT Solutions can lessen your stress and give you space to focus on what matters in your organization. Managed IT support for nonprofits and other it services can include vital tactics:

[Related: Why Managed IT Services Are Crucial for Franchises]

Secure and Grow Your Nonprofit With CMIT Solutions of Seattle

At CMIT Solutions of Seattle, we help nonprofit organizations like yours keep their information safe and their processes secure.

We review data backup, remotely monitor IT infrastructures and provide 24/7 IT maintenance and user support. That way, you can concentrate on providing great services and expanding without worrying about it support for nonprofits.

Contact us today, and let’s get started!


Featured image via Pexels

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