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Security for non-profits: Rising concerns and first steps

Cybersecurity and privacy have historically been lower down on non-profit’s lists of priorities, however, as the need to work digitally, the volume of cyberthreats and the risks of ignoring cyberthreats have increased so has the need for non-profits to invest in an effective security solution. Leaders of non-profits must balance these challenges with the need to collaborate and innovate in the most cost-effective way possible. So, what can you do to counter rising security concerns? This post will explore the Microsoft technologies available, however, multiple vendors may be required to build a comprehensive security strategy.

Enterprise Mobility + Security solutions for non-profits

Growing sophistication of cyberattacks, employees working from a variety of devices and the exchange of data between internal and external individuals all complicate the process of choosing a security approach. Additionally, the risk is of a data breach is often higher for small organisations as they have fewer safeguards in place. Organisations need a multifaceted approach, a solution that protects endpoints and detects and responds to early signs of a data breach, limiting any potential damage. Ultimately an effective security solution needs to protect users, devices, applications, data and infrastructure with minimal resources. This may take advantage of a combination of security capabilities. Detailed below are some of Microsoft’s key EM+S features.

Azure Active Directory

Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a universal identity platform that helps manage and secure all users and access to all apps and is trusted by over 100,000 organisations. Azure AD helps you to:

  • Connect your workforce to any app using single sign-on and secure access
  • Protect and govern access using a zero trust security model that always verifies before trusting a user or device
  • Engage and collaborate with stakeholders securely
  • Accelerate adoption of apps with simple and secure integration of third party applications, connecting applications into the Azure AD and Microsoft identity ecosystem.

Automated identity processes like the user lifecycle, increase productivity and reduce costs. The user lifecycle adds new access rights when employees join or move teams and revoke these rights when individuals leave the organisation. Microsoft recommend that to implement a zero trust approach organisations start with a baseline of strong two-factor authentication and adaptive, risk-based conditional access.

Identity and access management

Identity and access management focuses on three key pillars: secure authentication, conditional access, and identity protection. This ranges from identifying threats to passwordless authentication and works to facilitate identity-driven security.
Identity and access management tools include:

Azure Active Directory Premium – This tool helps you to manage access to resources and empower user productivity (from any location!).

Cloud App Security – Providing security for SaaS cloud applications improves visibility and protection against security issues.

Windows Hello – Hello offers facial recognition or fingerprint reading as faster, more secure alternatives to standard password authentication.

Credential Guard – Isolating credentials so that only privileged system software can access them helps you protect domain credentials.

Conditional Access – Controlling access to apps based on specific conditions allows enterprises to securely provide necessary individuals access to resources.

Threat protection

Threat protection is all about gaining visibility into your security position, enabling controls, and leveraging in-built security tools. This manifests itself in the protection of information within documents, email encryption, Shadow IT detection, tagging of content, monitoring of shared files and data segregation at an app or device level.
Threat protection tools include:

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection – This tool provides protection against increasingly sophisticated security threats.

Azure Advanced Threat Protection – By identifying, detecting, and investigating advanced threats, compromised identities and insider actions, Azure Advanced Threat Protection better secures your sensitive information.

Cloud App Security - Providing security for SaaS cloud applications improves visibility and protection against security issues.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection – This tool works to protect end points from threats, detecting attacks and data breaches, automating security incidents, and improving security posture.

Advanced eDiscovery – eDiscovery allows you to analyse unstructured data within Office 365.

Information protection

Information protection allows you to discover and classify sensitive information, apply protection, and accelerate compliance. The protection of information is achieved through methods such as email and document encryption, shadow IT detection, content classification and tagging, monitoring of files and data segregation.
Information protection tools include:

Windows Information Protection – This tool facilitates integrated protection against data leaks that doesn’t degrade the user experience.

Cloud App Security - Providing security for SaaS cloud applications improves visibility and protection against security issues.

Azure Information Protection – Controlling access to information from any location allows organisations to better secure sensitive information.

Microsoft Intune – Intune offers flexible mobile device and app management controls, protecting data whilst maintaining a high-quality user experience.

Data Loss Prevention – Identifying, monitoring, and protecting sensitive data helps compliance with privacy and security standards.

Advanced Compliance – Advanced compliance supports the process of establishing policies to meet compliance obligations and best practices whilst simplifying access.

Security management

Security management focuses on detecting and remediating breaches as well as protecting your digital estate, often offering end-to-end visibility of your organisation and allowing you to centrally manage your policies. This is achieved through capabilities such as shadow IT detection, conditional access, access level controls, data wiping, encryption at rest, and save-as, copy, and paste restrictions.
Security management tools:

Microsoft Security and Compliance Centre – By offering integrated management across Office 365, Windows, and EM+S, the security and compliance centre provides security specialists with a unified experience.

Windows Defender Security Centre – Flexible mobile device and app management controls allow employees or volunteers to work with their preferred apps and devices whilst additionally protecting secure information.

Whilst this may seem like a lot of information, protecting your non-profit doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated. Enterprise Mobility + Security solutions are simply an extension of an existing Microsoft Office with simple implementation and integration. Non-profits qualify for charity pricing rates which total to a fraction of the commercial rates.

By turning to a Microsoft partner, like Synergi, you access a source of expertise that can guide you and help you to safeguard your data in an affordable and effective manner. Get in touch today for a free consultation today and acquire guidance, recommendations, and best practices to keep your data safe from internal and external threats.
Call us on 0191 4770365 or email enquiries@teamsynergi.co.uk and see what else our managed services team can do for you.

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