Technology is highly utilized among various organizations to create a seamless flow of productivity and efficiency. Due to the increased dependency on technology to provide a reliable network at a faster speed, cybersecurity has become increasingly important for any organization.
Often times, nonprofits operate on a tight budget. It may be overlooked by nonprofits to spend their budget towards up-to-date technology. However, proper and strategic use of technology can advance nonprofits’ overall business goals and see improvement in office efficiency, time management, and office morale.
So what is going to bridge the gap between nonprofit organizations to ensure the optimal use of IT services? Investing in Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). When an IT problem arises at your organization, MSSPs reduce the communication and effort required to resolve the issue. MSSPs work remotely to resolve problems related to IT, freeing up the time of the internal staff to focus on other tasks that target business goals.
Managed Security Services Explained
MSSPs are separate from your in-house IT team. If your organization experiences a security breach, MSSPs work with your internal IT team to resolve those issues. MSSPs offer support remotely and monitor your network 24/7. MSSPs can look into firewalls, anti-virus, vulnerability and compliance management, system upgrades, and many more.
If your nonprofit organization does not have the experts to provide a remedy or monitor security issues, resolving those issues can be tedious and take up time away from other pressing matters. MSSPs can benefit your organization by delegating any security issue to a third party. The primary goal of MSSPs is to manage your organization’s network security.
Nonprofits Have Unique Challenges
Nonprofit organizations battle with unique challenges, one of them related to technology and software concerns. Among the top seven challenges for nonprofit organizations are technology and software concerns. Having outdated software disrupts the flow of communication between employees and makes your organization more susceptible to a security breach.
It can be a little daunting to hand over any cybersecurity monitoring to a third party. However, nonprofit organizations can benefit from using such services. Some MSSPs look into firewalls, anti-virus, vulnerability and compliance management, and many more. MSSPs also take care of any system changes and upgrades that are necessary to keep the network running smoothly.
It is common to run into many security incident reports. Common security incident types include unauthorized attempts to access your organization’s data, phishing attacks which are emails that contain malicious links and attachments, attack on malware and passwords, and many more. All of which require an expert's knowledge to tackle the issue efficiently and swiftly.
So, Why the Need to Invest in MSSP?
As nonprofits transition to using more technology to store data and sensitive information, nonprofits should consider ways to protect that information. Nonprofits are a big target among hackers.
According to the Boston Globe, a hacker broke into an employee’s email posing as the employee. In the emails, the hackers created false invoices and other documents to fool the charity into sending $1 million to a fraudulent entity in Japan. The $1 million was said to be used for putting up solar panels at health centers in Pakistan. Save the Children did not think much of it because they had relations in Pakistan for more than 30 years.
Unfortunately, Save the Children is one of many organizations that has experienced a cybersecurity breach. Between 2011 and early 2018, more than 1,100 nonprofits told the IRS they were a victim to a major diversion of assets. An increase in security breach activities are reasons why nonprofits such as Save the Children have decided to tighten up their security.
Regardless of the size of your nonprofit organization, no nonprofit organization is immune to a cybersecurity breach. That is why it is important to take the extra step to make sure your organization's confidential information is protected.
How MSSP Can Help
It is recommended for nonprofits to utilize MSSPs if an organization is not going to hire an internal cybersecurity team. Not having an expert monitor your business’ cybersecurity movements leaves the organization vulnerable.
Here is how MSSPs can help:
- MSSPs are experts that have experience and understand cybersecurity breaches. In case a cybersecurity breach was to happen to a nonprofit organization, MSSPs can resolve the issue promptly. MSSPs have current knowledge and expertise when resolving issues. However, if such a task is delegated to an internal member, their knowledge is not as extensive because their experience is only within the company.
- MSSPs have the option to use security tools that in-house members may not know how to use. Going back to the extensive knowledge that MSSPs acquire, they have a better understanding of what improved tools can help the organization protect its sensitive information. Having a vast knowledge of cybersecurity allows MSSPs to determine which tools are best suited for the organization’s need to resolve issues related to cybersecurity.
- MSSPs can free up the time of in-house IT staff to focus on other tasks that would help the organization. The in-house IT staff can redirect their focus that can meet business goals. Often, cybersecurity is not the most important task for the internal IT staff because it takes time away from achieving other business-related goals. Leaving the security to the MSSPs can allow in-house IT to manage other tasks.
Generally speaking, it may cost more for a nonprofit organization to hire a full-time internal team rather than utilizing MSSPs. Also, the knowledge of MSSPs exceeds that of an internal team. Time, money, and energy can be saved by hiring a MSSP to handle any security breach.
How Do You Choose the Right MSSP?
A few tips to consider when selecting an MSSP includes evaluating their reputation, look into how responsive they are, consider choosing a provider that offers basic training to staff members, consider value versus the cost.
By outsourcing IT reduces the cost and time it takes to hire and interview a new internal IT team. It is best for nonprofits to invest in a trusted MSSP to handle cybersecurity. You are paying an MSSP to be a reliable source for your cybersecurity needs. Some prodivers purchase software tools that are not accessible to nonprofits. Therefore, nonprofits have the advantage of working with enterprise tools at a low cost to you.
It is important to ask yourself if your nonprofit is ready for a potential cybersecurity breach. Not having a plan leaves your company vulnerable; that is not a risk any organization should take. Trying to recover sensitive information and losing money can be prevented by choosing the right MSSP.