At the Imagine: A Better World conference held by Amazon Web Services, André Pienaar, Managing Partner and Founder of C5 Capital, led a panel of experts discussing the topic of cyber security for nonprofit companies. Alongside André on the panel were Mark Testoni, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAP National Security Services; Ronald Moultrie, US Chairman of C5 Capital; Maura Harty, Chief Executive Officer of the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Joe Spiezio, Solution Architect for Amazon Web Services.

Cyber security for non-profit companies is an often overlooked topic, but as André explains, cloud computing is part of the solution. Joe Spiezio notes that while non-profits often don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to security, the number of large corporations already using the cloud can benefit smaller non-profit companies. This is because larger corporations in industries such as finance and healthcare have stringent security requirements, allowing smaller companies and non-profits to leverage what’s already been put in place and focus their resources on higher level issues.

Asked by André what her perspective on cyber security is, Maura Harty says that the relationship between databases and donor information within non-profit companies is critical. Maura explained that if this data is breached in any way, they risk losing donors and there would also be a cascading effect across many other donor relationships. Although there are some costs associated with investing in cyber security, Maura advises that this is necessary because without the donors, they would be out of business.

André wrapped up the panel by asking what practices from the private sector could be applied to the not-for-profit sector. Ronald Moultrie states that he’d like to see a best practice framework for cyber security to be implemented within the not-for-profit sector. Maura Harty believes that leaders within non-profits need to continue to raise the importance of cyber security. Joe Spiezio emphasises the need for planning to ensure that best practices are followed, and Mark Testoni stressed that non-profits should educate themselves and understand where the biggest risks and vulnerabilities within their company might lie, and take action to mitigate these risks.