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What’s With all This Talk of Cybersecurity?

By Mary Beth Foster, TPF’s Director of IT

Cybersecurity. What is it? Why is it so important? The term “cyber” is defined as a prefix meaning “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality,” as in “cybertalk,” “cyberspace,” and “cybersecurity.”  So, cybersecurity is the practice of securing or defending computers, servers, mobile devices, networks and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. For TPF, our cybersecurity strategy includes the technologies, processes, and practices we have implemented to protect our systems from theft and damage to our software, hardware, and data, and to prevent disruption of the services our systems provide to our partners and staff.

Your data is important to us, so we continually update and adjust our cybersecurity plan to ensure that we provide you with the best protection possible. Some of the key elements that are incorporated into our strategy at TPF are:

  • Enterprise class firewall protection that is monitored and kept up to date
  • Email scanning software to defend against dangerous phishing and spam
  • Secure website connectivity
  • Antivirus and malware protection software on all workstations and servers
  • Regular software patching on all workstations and servers
  • Software and data access based on user roles
  • Remote access restricted to approved staff and controlled via secure VPN
  • Outside security specialist firm to perform penetration assessment every other year
  • A robust Disaster Recovery plan that is tested twice annually and updated as systems, software, and processes change

New threats and methods are created daily, so organizations must be prepared to review and update their cybersecurity processes to accommodate the increasingly sophisticated attacks. Preparing a strong offense, consisting of a thorough cybersecurity strategy with an educated and informed staff, is the best defense.

What is your cybersecurity strategy? What steps are you taking to protect the sensitive business and personal information of your members and donors?