The Complete Guide to Cybersecurity for Non-profits

by David Rose
| March 8, 2023 |

In today’s digital age, it is more important than ever for organizations to prioritize cyber security, especially non-profits, which are often targeted by hackers due to their sensitive and valuable data. Cyber security refers to the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from attack, damage or unauthorized access.


Nonprofits often manage valuable data and resources that need to be protected. They need cyber security to protect their organization from the risks and consequences of a cyber attack. A cyber attack on a nonprofit can result in data loss, financial loss, and unexpected network or business downtime. This can not only harm the organization but also the people who rely on its services. Nonprofits have a responsibility to protect their data and resources, and cyber security is a crucial part of fulfilling that responsibility.


Nonprofits are common targets for cyber attacks because of a lack of resources and the sensitive information they handle. Many nonprofits have limited budgets and staff, which can make it difficult for them to invest in robust cyber security measures. This can make them more attractive targets for cyber attackers, who may see them as easier to breach. Additionally, nonprofits often handle sensitive information such as donor lists and financial records, which can be valuable to cyber attackers. They may try to steal this information for financial gain or to disrupt the non-profit’s operations. The sensitive nature of the information nonprofits handle makes them a target for cybercriminals who seek to exploit this.

Many nonprofits also have limited IT staff or may not have dedicated IT personnel, which can make it harder for them to implement and maintain effective cyber security measures, leaving the organization vulnerable. Furthermore, non-profit organizations provide services to their communities, so any downtime caused by a cyber attack is a blow to the people and communities that they have been or could be helping. An attack can also damage the organization’s reputation, which can lead to loss of donor trust and support. It’s crucial for nonprofits to implement and maintain adequate cyber security measures to protect their data, resources, and reputation.


Not maintaining proper cyber security measures could result in legal action being taken against the organization. This can include fines, penalties, and even criminal charges. Nonprofits must comply with various laws and regulations related to data protection and privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It’s important for nonprofits to understand and comply with these laws and regulations. Failure to comply can also result in reputational damage and loss of donor trust. Therefore, It’s important for nonprofits to understand and comply with the legal and regulatory requirements related to cyber security to protect themselves and the people they serve.

Improving cyber security for non-profits is essential to protect the organization, its data, and the people they serve. One way to achieve this is by following best practices for protecting against cyber attacks. This includes:

  1. Conducting a risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats,
  2. Developing written policies for disaster recovery, business continuity, acceptable use, and security.
  3. Training organization members in cybersecurity awareness.
  4. Simulating cyber attacks can help the organization to test and improve their response plan.


Another way for nonprofits to improve their cyber security is by taking advantage of resources available to them. Organizations with 501-3C status can benefit from charitable tech programs and grants, such as those listed on donorbox , to help fund cyber security improvements. Outsourced teams such as Rose Computers can also assist in understanding and utilizing available resources. It’s important to note that many non-profit organizations may not be able to achieve all of their cyber security goals in a single budget year. Organizations like Rose Computers can help establish a 5-year plan to ensure proper protection with minimal impact on budget and expenses.


Rose Computer Technology Services can be a valuable partner for non-profit organizations looking to improve their cyber security. With 25 years of experience in keeping businesses safe, they specialize in serving nonprofits. We have proudly partnered with many non-profit organizations, including Spectrum Youth & Family Services, and COTS (The Committee on Temporary Shelter). Rose Computer Technology Services can help non-profit organizations understand the resources available to them and act as their IT department if the organization does not have one. We take a security-first approach and have received the CompTIA Security Trustmark+ from CompTIA, the association for the world’s information technology (IT) industry. We are also dedicated to our community, as evidenced by our receipt of the 2022 Citizens Bank Small Business Community Champion award and our commitment to community service as shown on our website.

The first step is to schedule an initial call with here: Calendly page, or from our website here: Discover where your non-profit stands in today’s world of cyber attack. How cyber resilient are you? If you are not sure, book a call with us today!

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