Data Breaches and the Threat to Nonprofits

July 8, 2015

Data Breaches and the Threat to Nonprofits

It seems like every week we hear about another major data breach. But it’s not just large retailers that are being targeted. In fact, most cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses. The reality is that small businesses – nonprofits included – are targeted because they’re less likely to have the kind of sophisticated cyber protection and safety protocols large companies have in place.

Why would hackers attack charities and nonprofits? Nonprofits generally store sensitive information such as volunteer and donor data including bank accounts, credit card and social security numbers on their computer system. Hackers can more easily gain access into a less protected computer system and sell them to identity thieves on the dark web. Hackers won’t necessarily know how many or the value of your records, but if they can gain access to your network, they can find out.

Even if your organization has the latest firewalls and cyber security, the threat can come internally from employees or volunteers. They may have direct access to donor records and more. If just one employee is lured by the temptation of easy money, it could have devastating consequences to the organization. According to Experian’s 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast, employees and negligence will continue to be the leading cause of security incidents in the next year.

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating:

Notification. It starts with informing all of your members, employees, volunteers and donors. Most small businesses and non-profits do not have the resources or plans in place to respond to data breaches and may need to hire a public relations firm to help react to negative headlines in the press.

Time. A data breach diverts attention from the daily activities of running an organization to the process of recovering from the event. If your time is normally devoted to serving your members and overseeing operations, you can expect to delegate that work to others while you (and perhaps other employees) respond to the breach.

Financial cost. In addition to the loss confidence by donors and members, a data breach can be quite costly. The University of North Carolina said a 2013 data breach of just 6,000 records has cost the school nearly $80,000 in working with affected parties. The external costs to date include notification letters, credit monitoring and operating a call center.*

In the coming weeks we will provide more insightful articles on our website about data breaches and how we can help you prepare and respond. Look for our next article: “Are You Prepared for a Data Breach”

*Small Businesses: The Cost of a Data Breach Is Higher Than You Think, First Market Data, Insight Study, 2014

 

Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.

Testimonials

In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.

Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL