Q&A: How NGOs can protect themselves online

Melanie Rieback on stage at Oslo Innovation Week. Photo by: Christian T. Joergensen / EUP-Berlin GbR

OSLO, Norway — With disinformation campaigns, online fraud and cyberattacks on the rise globally, companies, institutions and governments are scrambling to ramp up their online security measures. But the significant cost of firewalls, encryption and other digital security measures can make it difficult for at-risk players in the nonprofit sector to take the necessary precautions to prevent attacks, as well as to respond effectively if an attack does happen.

Dr. Melanie Rieback, CEO and co-founder of nonprofit computer security consultancy Radically Open Security, recently talked about the ins and outs of digital defense at Oslo Innovation Week in the Norwegian capital. The Dutch national, a former assistant professor of computer science best known for her research on RFID security, has extensive experience in how to combat cyber attacks.

Rieback sat down with Devex to discuss best practices in online security for NGOs, and what steps they can take to protect themselves and their members. The conversation here has been edited for length and clarity.

Why do NGOs need to protect themselves online, and what are the key things they need to be thinking about when it comes to digital defense?

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About the author

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    Benjamin Bathke

    Benjamin Bathke is a freelance journalist covering media innovation, startups and intractable global issues for Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, as well as several other international publications. In 2015-2016, Ben was a Global Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a multimedia storyteller for Washington University in St. Louis.