The holiday brings out the spirit of giving for many Americans.
Beyond buying gifts and spending time with our friends and loved ones, we make charitable donations to organizations we believe are helping those in need. But although it’s difficult to fathom, some take advantage of this goodwill for their own personal gain.
One way this malevolent behavior manifests is through online scams and cyber attacks.
When charitable giving picks up, so does cybercrime. That was evident in fraudulent activities in the wake of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. This month, cybercriminals likely will target charities and donors during their predictably busy season. Many of these organizations will be unprepared, with systems that are especially vulnerable to hackers and fraudsters.
Some charitable organizations that have increased their social media presence recently discovered firsthand just how ruthless cybercriminals can be. Fake fundraising campaigns, posing as efforts by legitimate organizations, have appeared on fundraising platforms. And their social posts have lured in donors. That means at the same time Facebook and Twitter have helped them increase reach, they’ve also opened them up to new attacks. Without robust cybersecurity protections, these organizations are left wondering how to shut down attacks.
Here are a few actions that charitable organizations can take to protect against scams and fraud:
- Get cyber-savvy: Training programs for your staff, volunteers and leadership can help you understand how cybercrime operates and show you what to look out for.
- Audit your systems: Many charities don’t know where they are vulnerable. Getting a complete picture of your technical weaknesses can help you understand the critical steps you need to take.
- Get outside help: Nonprofits often have smaller cybersecurity budgets. Managed security partners and third-party vendors can help make effective security affordable.
- Automate: Your security configurations, patches and more need to stay updated. Products that automate the process take away the hassle.
- Get a penetration test: Penetration testers can simulate attacks on your organization, including social engineering attacks that prey on your employees. This way you can understand where you need to problem-solve your security.
Lunarline can assist nonprofits and charitable organizations with consulting services, managed security and products to boost your protection. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.