5 ways to help you and your NFP prevent a data breach

5 ways to help you and your NFP prevent a data breach
Written by
Jamie Sayed
5 ways to help you and your company prevent a data breach
5 ways to help you and your company prevent a data breach

In recent years, data breaches have become an increasingly common occurrence, affecting companies of all sizes across a variety of industries. 

In Australia, data security crimes are on an alarming rise. But even more importantly, several high-profile companies have faced significant fines and backlash due to the lack of their data security, including the likes of the recent breach at Optus and MediBank. Unfortunately this generally leaves the not-for-profit sector vulnerable, as small to medium organisations rarely have the skills and resources to field I.T. and data security in the correct manner. But we've assembled 5 basic steps below that your organisation can implement with out too much trouble. That being said, it also pays to use a secure platform like Little Phil when storing private and sensitive information.

So let's take a closer look at what happened.

Optus

The telecommunications giant suffered a data breach that exposed the personal and sensitive information of over a million customers, including names, addresses, and phone numbers.

The breach occurred as a result of a misconfigured database, which allowed unauthorised access to customer data. Optus faced significant backlash from customers and regulators alike and was eventually fined $10 million by the Australian Privacy Commissioner for failing to adequately protect customer data.

MediBank

The healthcare provider suffered a data breach that exposed the personal and sensitive information of over 370,000 customers, including names, addresses, and Medicare details. 

The breach occurred as a result of an unauthorised third party gaining access to the company's database, and MediBank faced significant backlash from customers and regulators alike. The company was eventually fined $2.5 million by the Australian Privacy Commissioner for failing to adequately protect customer data.

But wait there's more

Other Australian companies that have suffered data breaches and faced significant fines include Target, which was fined $1.5 million in 2017 for a data breach that exposed the personal and sensitive information of over 300,000 customers, and eBay, which was fined $6.6 million in 2018 for a data breach that exposed the personal and sensitive information of over 100,000 customers.

It pays to get onboard

The financial impact of data breaches can be significant for organisations of all sizes, as they not only face fines from regulators but also the potential for lost customer/donor trust and decreased sales or donations. In the case of Optus, the company saw a significant drop in customer satisfaction and a decline in sales following the data breach.

The frequency and severity of data breaches in recent years have led to increased scrutiny of organisations data protection practices, and regulators are cracking down on those who fail to adequately protect donor data. All sectors are now under greater pressure to implement robust data protection measures, such as better security around databases, passwords, multi-factor authentication, and regular security updates.

In addition to the financial impact, data breaches can also have severe consequences for individuals whose personal and sensitive information is exposed. In many cases, this can lead to identity theft, fraud, and other financial crime. It is therefore crucial that nonprofits do everything in their power to prevent data breaches and protect donor data. Data breaches and cybersecurity incidents can have serious consequences for organisations too, including financial fines and damage to reputation. It is important for charities to prioritise cybersecurity and to take steps to protect the personal information of their donors.

5 steps organisations need to take:

  1. Implementing strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, along with password and VPN software to secure access to company databases.
  2. Regularly updating software and systems to fix vulnerabilities and prevent unauthorised access.
  3. Training employees on data protection best practices and the importance of maintaining secure systems.
  4. Conducting regular audits to identify and fix vulnerabilities in systems and processes.
  5. Use a platform that will secure it for you. As it can be complex, costly & time-consuming to get it right, why not use a platform such as Little Phil!?

By taking these steps, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and protect personal and organisational data. While data breaches are unfortunately an increasingly common occurrence, nonprofits that take the necessary precautions can minimise the risk and protect themselves and their donors. If doesn't have to be strenuous or expensive either.

Little Phil takes proactive cyber security measures and makes constant improvements to our secure platform to maintain the latest and highest standards of data security. Organisations and their donors can trust their data is safe and minimise the financial and legal impact of incidents that may occur. Speak to us today if you'd like more information on our security measures or if we can answer any questions you may have.

At the end of the day, it's nice to feel secure with a platform that takes care of it all for you.

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