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Why the Not-for-Profit industry must prioritise cybersecurity

In an increasingly digital world, the need for robust cybersecurity measures extends to all sectors, including Not-for-Profit organisations. They play a vital role in Australia, driving positive change within society. However, they must not overlook the critical need to prioritise cybersecurity.

Not-for-Profit organisations handle sensitive data, including donor information, financial records, and intellectual property. This valuable information makes them attractive targets for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorised access. A successful cyber-attack can have severe consequences, including compromised donor trust, financial loss, and damage to the organisation’s reputation. Furthermore, NFPs rely on digital platforms for fundraising, communication, and data management, amplifying the need for robust cybersecurity practices to protect against threats such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing attempts.

Taking action: Building a cybersecurity framework

To effectively address cybersecurity risks, NFPs should establish a comprehensive cybersecurity framework tailored to their unique needs and resources. This framework should include measures such as regular risk assessments, employee training on cybersecurity best practices, implementing strong access controls, and deploying robust security solutions.

The Not-for-Profit sector needs to be aware of its responsibilities when it comes to identity management

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) refers to the processes, technologies, and policies used to manage and control user identities and their access to resources within an organisation. This approach will ensure that they have a proper framework for managing their identity assets, which includes their customers’ personal information, employees’ identities and contractors who have access to the business’s systems.

While the implementation of IGA can vary based on an organisation’s specific needs and technology infrastructure, here are some general highlights to be considered:

• Assess current state and define objectives
­ Evaluate existing identity and access management processes and technologies.
­ Define the goals and objectives of the IGA implementation, such as improved security, compliance, and operational efficiency.

• Develop a governance framework
­ Establish policies, procedures, and guidelines for managing identities and access rights.
­ Define roles and responsibilities within the IGA program.

• Identity lifecycle management
­ Implement processes for user provisioning (onboarding), deprovisioning (offboarding), and managing changes to user access rights.
­ Automate identity-related processes to minimise manual effort and reduce the risk of errors.

• Access governance and compliance
­ Implement mechanisms to monitor and review user access rights and entitlements.
­ Enforce segregation of duties (SoD) policies to prevent conflicts of interest and reduce the risk of fraud.

• Technology Implementation
­ Evaluate and select appropriate IGA tools or platforms that align with your organisation’s requirements.
­ Configure and deploy the chosen IGA solution, integrating it with existing systems and applications as needed.

• Ongoing monitoring and improvement
­ Continuously monitor and analyse access-related data for identifying and mitigating risks.
­ Regularly review and update IGA policies and procedures to adapt to changing business needs and compliance requirements.

Define the Governance and Risk Profile (GRP) of your organisation

The GRP is a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the Governance and Risk profile (GRP) of your organisation. This is used to identify risks, determine appropriate mitigation strategies, and set clear priorities for managing those risks effectively.

Risk management involves identifying potential threats, analysing their potential impact on an organisation’s objectives, taking action to minimise any negative consequences should they occur and monitoring progress towards achieving those objectives. This process is known as risk assessment; it involves identifying all possible threats then assessing how severe those threats are likely to be if they materialise in practice – this enables you to prioritise actions based on likelihood of occurrence rather than simply trying everything at once.

The GRP should be updated regularly so that it remains relevant and up-to-date with regard to current legislation/regulation requirements (for example: GDPR), emerging technology trends such as cloud computing or mobile connectivity. This can be achieved either manually by reviewing each component separately (eg: policies) or automatically by using software tools which provide automated reports on compliance status across multiple areas simultaneously.

By acknowledging the risks they face, understanding the potential consequences of inadequate cybersecurity, and taking proactive measures to establish robust security practices, NFPs can safeguard their operations, protect their stakeholders, and continue making a meaningful impact in the communities they serve.

For more information please contact our cybersecurity professionals today.

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