Welcome to the sixth part of our ‘Tech for Good’ series. In this post, we explore cybersecurity and data privacy, which are crucial for safeguarding the missions of tech startups and nonprofits. Discover how robust security practices and a commitment to data privacy can protect your organization, foster trust, and ensure the longevity of positive impact.
The digital transformation landscape demands the utmost security and privacy. Startups and nonprofits typically focus on safeguarding their intellectual property and client data. On the other hand, nonprofits need to protect donor trust and, depending on funding requirements may also need to comply with very particular data privacy regulations.
Today, we’ll dive into cybersecurity with DuckDuckGo, which champions online privacy and offers tools to protect user data, and Access Now, which advocates digital rights and privacy laws.
Let’s get to it!
Table of contents
- Please Note
- Nonprofit Perspective
- Startup Perspective
- Readily available tools to help with Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
- Cybersecurity + Data Privacy = Safer Tomorrow
- The Takeaway: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Go Hand-in-hand
Please note that I have not contacted the companies below to confirm if they use the tools in these scenario examples or in context otherwise. The scenarios will give a broad overview of nonprofits and startups and help you visualize how to harness tools for good, brainstorm, or fill gaps in your endeavors. After that, I’ll take it one step further and list actionable tools to consider for each perspective. All suggestions are based on my knowledge as a senior project manager and citizen developer.
Example 1: Access Now
Access Now, a nonprofit organization, champions digital rights and cybersecurity by providing technical support to activists and organizations worldwide. Furthermore, it focuses on safeguarding user privacy, offering digital security resources, and advocating internet freedom and privacy laws. Through its efforts, it enables individuals and groups to navigate cyberspace securely, protect sensitive data, and ensure digital rights and freedoms for all.
Similar organizations safeguard data and communications using encrypted communication platforms, VPNs, and secure cloud storage solutions.
Example 2: DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is a tech startup specializing in online privacy. Its search engine and browser tools emphasize protecting user data and enhancing privacy online. In addition, DuckDuckGo’s mission centers on providing alternative browsing options without tracking or profiling users, aligning to safeguard user privacy in a data-centric digital environment.
Overall, it’s known for its privacy-centric search engine that doesn’t track users or collect personal data. They also provide a web browser extension called “DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials,” which blocks trackers and enforces encryption when visiting websites. Additionally, they support their advocacy for internet privacy and freedom.
Similar and sometimes smaller startups focus on cybersecurity, providing accessible protection against cyber threats through tools like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption software.
Readily available tools to help with Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Safeguarding organizational integrity requires utilizing advanced cybersecurity and data privacy tools. Below are three lists: the first is general, and the other two are based on use-case scenarios for similar organizations. I’ve also provided a couple of options for each.
For example, Access Now would probably want to ensure encrypted communication, secure cloud storage, and anonymous browsing, aligning with its mission to protect global digital rights and empower users with privacy-enhancing technologies.
Conversely, DuckDuckGo’s focus on online privacy could leverage robust tools like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption software, and endpoint security solutions, providing comprehensive protection against digital threats for individuals and small businesses.
- VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) – ExpressVPN, NordVPN.
- Password Managers – LastPass, 1Password.
- Antivirus Software – Bitdefender, Kaspersky.
- Encrypted Messaging Apps – Signal, Telegram.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) – Google Authenticator, Authy.
- Encryption Tools – VeraCrypt, GnuPG.
- Privacy-focused Browser – Brave Browser.
- Secure Email Services – ProtonMail, Tutanota.
Potential Technologies in an Access Now Scenario:
- Encrypted Communication Platforms – Signal, Telegram.
- Secure Cloud Storage Solutions – Tresorit, SpiderOak.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) – ExpressVPN, NordVPN.
- Anonymous Browsing Tools – Tor Browser, ProtonVPN.
Potential Technology Usage in a DuckDuckGo Scenario:
- Firewalls – Cisco Firepower, Palo Alto Networks.
- Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) – Snort, Suricata.
- Encryption Software – VeraCrypt, AxCrypt.
- Endpoint Security Solutions – Symantec Endpoint Protection, CrowdStrike Falcon.
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – Splunk, LogRhythm.
Cybersecurity + Data Privacy = Safer Tomorrow
Access Now is a beacon for digital rights in the nonprofit sector, offering technical support globally and advocating for internet freedom. Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo, a tech startup, focuses on democratizing cybersecurity, making protection against cyber threats accessible to all. These perspectives highlight the significance of prioritizing cybersecurity and data privacy for nonprofits and startups.
Reflecting on these examples, you can fortify digital business defenses and uphold ethical data practices regardless of organizational context. Leverage tools like encryption software, secure communication platforms, and privacy-enhancing browser extensions. These tools empower you to enhance cybersecurity and data privacy within your organization, securing stakeholders’ trust and data integrity.
Consider the safety of your digital assets and the privacy of stakeholders. During your digital transformation efforts, brainstorm ways to strengthen digital defenses and ensure ethical data practices, maintaining the trust vested in your organization. Lastly, as with most things, please remember that online security is never 100%.
Still trying to figure it out? Click each link below to see how both companies have changed lives through cybersecurity and data protection.
- Access Now – Tech and conflict: a guide for responsible business conduct
- DuckDuckGo – Advancing Privacy Worldwide (This page covers donations, and they’ve contributed to Access Now!)
The Takeaway: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Go Hand-in-hand
Overall, strengthening cybersecurity and upholding data privacy are essential in today’s digital age. By leveraging available tools and insights from these organizations, you can fortify your organization’s defenses to help ensure a safer digital future in your own projects and endeavors.
Also, future posts in this series will be published on Wednesdays at 8:30 A.M. EST. I’ll link them below as they go live (including the one above).
- Part 8 – Upskilling and Reskilling: Empowering Communities for Change
- Part 9 – The Evolving Role of Employee Engagement in Tech for Good Initiatives
Also, this series can be followed in any order. For those who don’t want to miss out, below are the previous posts:
- Part 1 – Technology for Good: A Guide to Creating Positive Change in Startups and Nonprofits
- Part 2 – Harnessing AI and Automation for Social Impact
- Part 3 – Digital Collaboration and Remote Work: Changing the Face of Nonprofits and Startups
- Part 4 – The Gig Economy: Balancing Flexibility and Social Responsibility
- Part 5 – Data-Driven Decision Making: The Heartbeat of Tech for Good