For immediate release
June 3, 2021
NetHope Communications Team
Threat actors are amplifying their harm by leveraging digital capabilities to disrupt the work of nonprofits and advocacy organizations, and to gain access to information they can use to further their aims. The latest battle in this cyberconflict is the hack of USAID that appears to be aimed specifically at international development, humanitarian, and human rights agencies. But that is just one known event in a series of specifically targeted attacks … and the one you know about. It is not the first. These assaults are becoming increasingly bold and more sophisticated.
This clear and present cyber danger to nonprofits, including NetHope Members, must be addressed immediately. If nonprofits become the cyber-victims of bad actors, it will inevitably lead to the death and suffering of vulnerable and marginalized people or the NGO workers who protect them. “In an age of digital identities, digital access to services, and digital targeting, cyber-attacks can be life threatening for vulnerable and marginalized people that nonprofits serve", says Lance Pierce, NetHope CEO.
At this moment we must choose if we are the people who watch, or the people who act.
This is why, in the face of immediate and serious threats to global nonprofits, NetHope is one of the first responders to this cyber crisis. A couple of days after the last attack, NetHope collaborated with more than 100 leaders of global nonprofits and USAID. Together they listened to the advice of top experts. Nonprofits shared their vulnerabilities with each other and asked for advice in the confidential and trusted forum that NetHope is famous for convening. The cybersecurity leaders from the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center, the same team that broke the latest hack story, were there to help and provide detailed context and advice that cannot be shared in public. NetHope also increased the activities of our long-standing Data Protection and Information Security Working Group. Through NetHope, Members are rapidly assessing their information security controls, and learning how to be more resilient, quicker.
This is a call to action AND protection. Already NetHope tech partners are responding by providing nonprofit Members with immediate access to valuable security products that will provide relief and safety in this moment of crisis. The sector needs your support to respond to these growing cyber-attacks, and to become cyber resilient. Learning from the physical world of humanitarian aid: we need to provide cyber emergency response immediately, but also build longer term resilience and disaster preparedness at the same time. And we need to do it together.
To join this call to action and protection, for you to protect and strengthen nonprofits, please reach out to Communications@NetHope.org.
NetHope enables its Members, and the nonprofit sector, to be more effective and efficient – and accelerate their impacts – through the use of technology. NetHope, a consortium of nearly 60 global nonprofits, unites with technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges. Together, the NetHope community strives to transform the world, building a platform of hope for those who receive aid and those who deliver it.