Microsoft Adds Security Program for Nonprofits

Microsoft has launched its Security Program for Nonprofits, a suite of security programs that assess organizational risk, offer proactive monitoring and notification and provide cybersecurity training for nonprofit employees through webinars, workshops and advance previews of new security features.

The program includes the company’s AccountGuard for Nonprofits offering, which includes threat detection and notification across both enterprise and associated personal accounts against attacks from nation-states.

In the Microsoft Digital Defense Report, which the company released earlier this month, the organization noted that it had blocked 31 billion identity threats and 32 billion email threats between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Nonprofits, especially government organizations, have come under special focus from bad actors. According to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report, during the 12 months leading up to June 30, 2021, 48% of attacks were leveled against government entities, followed by NGOs and think tanks (31%), education organizations (3%) and IGOs (3%), with the remainder distributed among health, IT, media and other organizations.

Under AccountGuard for Nonprofits, organizations are notified if there is a verifiable threat or compromise by a known nation-state actor (Microsoft cited Russia-based Nobelium as one that had been successful in infiltrating U.S.-based nonprofits during May 2021.) The program further provides notification to both compromised individuals and organizations if a registered Microsoft consumer account, such as a Hotmail or Outlook address, is involved.

According to Microsoft, when there are compromises, AccountGuard for Nonprofits provides ground-floor suggestions for resolving the security issues. Some clients may also be eligible for discounts on security software and hardware. Participants are also given direct line access to Microsoft’s Democracy Forward & Philanthropies teams for consultation on security issues and questions.

Security Program for Nonprofits also includes a free security assessment, which includes insight into optimizing configurations and digital architecture to match organization needs; consolidation for operational efficiencies; consultation on legacy application upgrades and security patch strategies; and immediate security risk mitigation.

Enrollment into the security assessment can be done here: https://nonprofits.tsi.microsoft.com/en-US/security-assessment/