Laura Riordan Berardi, Administrative & Communications Coordinator, Iowa Council of Foundations
Even with the big headlines last year about major cyber attacks right here in Iowa, affecting Des Moines Area Community College and New Cooperative, it’s hard to imagine cybercriminals targeting a little ol’ nonprofit like ours. How would they find out about us? Why would they bother when there are bigger fish?
The unfortunate truth is the very thing that makes us think small nonprofits are invisible to cyber criminals makes us perfect targets. They know we are less likely to have IT staff or sophisticated firewalls. Nonprofit staff are famously stretched thin, perhaps making it easier for an innocent-sounding request to change a bank account number slip right through. And for our members working with sizable sums of money, the target is sweeter for those ne’er-do-wells looking for a pot of cash to go after. Increased chatter of cyber attacks coming from Russia have made the possibility even more real for some. So how do we protect ourselves?
About a year ago the Iowa Council of Foundations started doing our own work internally on cybersecurity practices and policies. With a small staff it may have taken longer than we would have liked, but we’ve made steady progress and have put into place new information security policies and have started implementing changes to increase security. We wanted to bring our members along with us on this journey. We invite you to join us on April 27 for a presentation on cybersecurity from Twin State Technical Solutions. Even if you’re like me and the idea of tackling cybersecurity seems a bit overwhelming, I encourage you to listen in. There are some easy steps even the smallest organization can take to protect your sensitive data, your donors, and your own operations.