As the driving force behind the future of data sovereignty, open-source software is the natural fit for nonprofits seeking to adopt modern digital solutions.
NGOs and nonprofits face many of the same threats to their data and digital assets as large enterprises. The fundamental difference is that they rarely have the budgets to implement the latest enterprise-grade data-protection measures and hire top expertise in the space. In fact, according to the CyberPeace Institute, 86% of NGOs lack cybersecurity plans.
As a result, many philanthropic ventures are highly vulnerable to threats like cyberattacks and data leaks, with half of NGOs reporting being targeted in recent years. At the same time, they face the same pressures from industry regulators as the business world to protect personally identifiable data.
Perhaps the most sobering fact about cyberthreats facing nonprofits is how philanthropic work itself makes them a target. Many cybercriminals make a point of exploiting peoples’ goodwill by launching targeted social engineering scams with a view to stealing donations away from good causes. For example, charities in the UK lost £8.6 million to fraud between April 2020 and March 2021. Naturally, when this happens, donors start losing confidence, with potentially crippling impacts on legitimate nonprofits and their beneficiaries.
Of course, data protection isn’t just about protecting against malicious threats, but also about protecting data from threats like accidental leaks or compliance failures. In a sector that relies immensely on trust, reputation, and accountability, these challenges must be tackled together as one. At the same time, however, NGOs and nonprofits must address the challenges in a way that doesn’t end up interfering with their long-term policy goals.