Cyber Security and Compliance – More Critical Than Ever

By September 11, 2019Uncategorized

Saying that digital security is important isn’t exactly a revelation. A recent look at the news features fake fundraisers, Cyberassaults on small towns and previously well-respected nonprofits suddenly going dark, taking clients money with them.

So what’s to be done? The bleak answer is that no system is ever 100% safe. Cyber security is a constantly evolving arms race, with new threats and protections in a constant struggle. However there are some common-sense steps you can take to protect you and your digital assets as much as possible

Don’t Click the Bait

Simply put – Never click on a link you’re not 100% sure of. Hover over the link to see the real URL, ignore threats of jail time or license cancellation and never fall for a “is this you?” link. Anything that seems even halfway credible will have an alternate means you can use to verify. Call that friend who sent you the poorly-worded email, contact the credit card company that wants you to enter your account info, or hit “Mark as Spam” and move on.

Stay Up-To-Date

There’s few things as frustrating as going to shut down your laptop after a long day and seeing “Install Updates and Shut Down” as one option. But no matter the hour, it’s always the best practice. An up-to-date computer is your best line of defense. Threats may always be evolving, but so are the fixes that close the virtual door to them,

The Route(r) to a Safer Network

Make sure you have a newer, updated router. Consider setting up a custom VPN a segmented guest network for visitors, and encrypting your wifi network. This is the virtual front door to your office, so protect it like you would the real one.

Don’t Answer the Question

Or at least not the right way. When you set a security question, come up with a system for giving (and remembering) a fake answer. With more and more of our lives being shared online, it’s easier than ever for someone to find out what elementary school you went to, your pets name, or any of the other “standard” questions. So instead, make up an answer that you can recall, but no one else can research.

Don’t Trust Yourself

So sometimes I get  bit too cute with the headlines. But really don’t trust yourself that you have a safe, secure system. Invest in Compliance Testing. Have an independent third party look at your network and software, poke, prod and search through your code for holes, and generally make sure that you, your network and your donors information is as secure as possible.


Big River has for the last 4 years ensured our clients data through independent Compliance Testing. We meet and exceed the PCI-DSS Standards and take great pride in the trust placed in us by our clients by making sure our network and software are as secure as possible