The cyberattack on May 7, 2021 shutting down the Colonial Pipeline caused gas shortages throughout the Southeastern United States This ransomware attack is a stark reminder of how important technology is in the modern world.  In the most recent semester that just ended I spent a considerable amount of time with my students studying critical new  technologies such as  Blockchain, the Cloud, VR/AR, AI,  and RPA.  These and  other new technologies will permanently impact how  organizations operate.  

It is also a reminder  cyberattacks against NFP organizations and governmental entities have continued unabated.  At the same time the pipeline cyberattack was occurring, the District of Columbia police department systems were hacked.  The hackers began releasing the personal information from 22 police officers.  Obviously, this can be a life threatening situation for these officers.   

NFP organizations that ignore the new technological reality and the “New Normal” risk failure in carrying out their vision and their mission.  At the same time, organizations must ensure cybersecurity is still a major concern.  It is inconceivable an NFP can operate in the modern world without adequate technology. Yet, many ignore the risk of cyberattack.  Perhaps they believe they are too small or inconsequential to be of interest to a hacker.  That is a dangerous assumption.  A client of mine, a small church, suffered a devastating cyberattack.  

 At the end of the day, technology can be a great boon for the efficiency of an organization’s operations.  With increased return though, there is often increased risk.  One of management’s core functions is to manage and balance risk and return. Cyberattacks are a risk to the mission critical new technology.  A management that ignores this risk is simply not doing its job. 

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