April 22, 2016

3 Easy Tips to Protect Your AMS and Nonprofit Website

Protect Your AMS

The technical ecosystem of Nonprofits is constantly changing. Systems and software are no longer considered overhead. Instead, up-to-date software and applications are essential in advancing the mission of all Nonprofit organizations.

Many Nonprofits use Association Management Software (AMS) like iMIS, Personify, and Aptify to manage members, offer self-service tools, create social engagement, allow mobile compatibility and to manage their website. Digitizing information has created a plethora of advantages for Nonprofits, such as providing your staff instant access to data about your business and donors, increased business processes and more efficient record keeping.

However, the transition to a digital environment, when not implemented properly, can leave data vulnerable to cyber threats. It is critical to secure your AMS and website to safeguard your members, donors, and fellow employees.

Monitoring

Monitoring is the process of testing and logging the status and uptime performance of a website. Monitoring ensures that the uptime, functionality and performance of your site is up to par.

Nonprofits should employ a continuous (24/7/365) monitoring program for your website, applications and entire IT infrastructure to maintain their security and anticipate downtime. Proactive monitoring can thwart potential problems to your software or website before they occur so issues will be effectively managed without interfering with day-to-day operations, leaving you to focus on your organization’s mission.

Patching

Patching keeps your technical environment up-to-date and secure. Patches are designed to shore-up both vulnerabilities and bugs while improving usability and performance. We recommend impacting the least number of employees, website visitors, and customers by designating a specific time and date when patches will be installed. For instance, many organizations complete patches at 3 a.m. when traffic volumes are low. Consistently updating your technical ecosystem identifies flaws or vulnerabilities before your business is impacted. Immediate solutions should be employed so the risk to your organization—and your members—is reduced.

Backups

Backups are critical for every Nonprofit website. Without proper monitoring, patching and security procedures, IT environments face severe issues such as system breaches, downtime, and data loss. It is estimated 70% of organizations have or will experience data loss due to accidental deletion, disk or system failure, viruses, fire or another disaster. Nonprofits aren’t immune to this statistic—major organizations like Planned Parenthood have been targeted as well as small associations for their rich member data. Backing up data on a regular basis ensures you have the most recent data available. Should unexpected data loss occur, it would not disturb the everyday activities of your organization—so it can continue making a difference every day. Final Thoughts Almost all Nonprofits collect and store personal information about their members and donors. Similar to the finance and healthcare industries, the risks associated with technical failures can cause irreparable damage to a Nonprofit organization. It has become crucial for associations to secure data and maintain a healthy technical environment. From August 13-16, we will be exhibiting at the ASAE National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Stop by and say hi to us at Booth 738! And if you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out to us; we’re happy to help.

Final Thoughts

Almost all Nonprofits collect and store personal information about their members and donors. Similar to the finance and healthcare industries, the risks associated with technical failures can cause irreparable damage to a Nonprofit organization. It has become crucial for associations to secure data and maintain a healthy technical environment.

From August 13-16, we will be exhibiting at the ASAE National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Stop by and say hi to us at Booth 738! And if you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out to us; we’re happy to help.

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