Top 5 Security Trends for Non Profits in 2019

  1. Ransomware will continue to be a prevalent type of extortion attack in 2019.

Such malware attacks increased over 5X in the last 2 years according to Cisco Security Research.

Ransomware attacks work because many organizations are still not well prepared with complete, regular and validated safe backups of their environment, and end up having to pay the ransom or face major loss of critical files and systems, and damages to the reputation of the organization.

Non-profits are certainly not immune and must be prepared for such an attack. The main question is really: WHEN will a ransomware attack hit, and to what extent?

  1. Big numbers getting bigger!

In 2016, Norton Cyber Security estimated at $2.2B to be the costs of cyber attacks in Canada. This number is predicted to grow to over $2.6T (trillion that is) this year globally!

The cyber attack “market” is growing faster than marijuana plants in Canada! Non-profits should have three levels of defense:  a firewall for the internet connections; a good anti-virus endpoint protection software on every PC and laptop; and good user awareness on security.

Hackers use automated scripts and robots to target systematically devices connected to the internet, and even the smallest non-profit typically receives thousands of hits per month.

  1. Phishing, Scams and Fraud to focus on individuals.

Many attacks are now coming through email, text and phones, and criminals may even include real user passwords (according to Forbes, 34% of consumers experienced a compromise of their personal information last year) available on the dark net to appear legitimate. The attacks target individuals who may feel isolated or ashamed.

Is your organization tracking these attacks? Is there cyber-security awareness training for your employees and volunteers?

  1. IOT (Internet of Things) is an increasing problem.

Experts are predicting that 2019 to be the year when attacks become much more common against the multitude of connected “things” we have in our cities and our homes. For example, home security camera systems, our new smart thermostat, and office printers, these connected devices provide value to hackers…and 2019 is the year when we will see attacks flourish in this space.

Good IT practices like complex and regularly changing passwords are a step in the right direction.

  1. Cybersecurity in the Boardroom

Cybersecurity is now a confirmed key business risk, not only in the non profit space. C-suite and board members are responsible for the financial risks and effects on the survival of an organization from a cybersecurity breach or attack.  

Board members themselves are likely targets of cyber-security attacks given the sensitive data in their communications.  Boards and Executives should ensure the organization has a defined and reviewed cyber-security incident response plan, a privacy and a security policy.

The bottom line is that we now need to think about security and be prepared.

If you’d like to discuss this article or talk a bit more about the security of your organization and best practices that we can help put in place, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your ASSOCIUM GAIN representative, in order to engage with Nuvollo.