While most nonprofits are exempt from taxes, they are not exempt from hackers targeting their data. Many nonprofit systems are easier to hack than those in the commercial sector. Hackers can take over your website and even your computers. A cyber attack can shut down your website for weeks and donor information, names of clients receiving aid, payroll records and other forms of data may be at risk. Hackers can then sell personal information to underground markets.
In February 2015, the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) was hacked. The NCCA uses its base of 990s to analyze trends in the nonprofit sector. An estimated 740,000 records including usernames, passwords, IP addresses and other account data were accessed by the hackers.
There are many steps that a nonprofit can take to protect their data and increase security. The National Council of Nonprofits published an article titled Feeling Insecure About Security? Protecting Your Nonprofit’s Data Is Not Rocket Science which details practical steps nonprofits can take to protect their most important data.
If you think your data is secure, think again. Hackers are continually looking for new ways to get at your information. It’s what they do.