Beyond the Idea Accelerator with Spencer Bolles: “Nonprofit InfoSec”

accelerator_logo_xsmall.jpegAs the grand finale to NTEN’s first-ever Leading Change Summit, a number of intrepid 14LCS attendees pitched and developed 24 awe-inspiring projects during the Idea Accelerator.

The Idea Accelerator was designed by LimeRed Studio’s Emily Lonigro Boylan, Owner and Creative Director, and Demetrio Cardona Maguigad, Director of Strategic Design, who teamed up with NTEN to carry out the event.

The Summit may have ended, but many of these projects are only beginning. Today, we want to introduce you to “Nonprofit InfoSec” an idea pitched by Spencer Bolles.

bollesspencer.jpgWhat is Nonprofit InfoSec?
We are proposing a new entity that would work iteratively over time to fulfill four main purposes:

1. Provide educational and media resources for nonprofit organizations in order to raise awareness concerning the need for improving information security

2. Provide assessment tools that measure the current effectiveness of security controls and identify areas that are in need of enhancements according to a risk management framework

3. Matching of needs and projects to resources that would include a directory of pro-bono information security professional volunteer consultants

4. Partner with corporate and private donor philanthropists and technology companies in order to fund and encourage NPO security projects

How did the idea get started?
Nonprofit organizations are increasingly at risk of attacks on their sensitive and private data and networks. We must find ways to collaboratively and creatively address the nonprofit information security gap as a community. We can work together to increase the security profiles of NPOs with the end result that we will defend organizations from attacks and prevent breach of data that ultimately distracts NPOs from their missions.

Who could use this?
IT leaders and staff involved with improving the information security of nonprofit organizations. Information security professionals working in the government and the private sector. Corporate philanthropists. Concerned citizens. Reassurance to donors and customers of nonprofit organizations that their data is safe with NPOs.

What does this project need?
We need collaboration with such organizations as TechSoup, NTEN, ISSA, SANS, State, and Federal Governments. Identifying others who are passionate about these ideas and plans and partner with them is also a priority. Another need is to start promoting these ideas and building resources within the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to test viability and then expand from there. We can consider a B Corporation model when there is sufficient momentum to sustain an entity and to promote this mission.

What’s next for this project?
Coaching, drafting or business plan, and finding partners and funders.  We also need to build a collaborative network and found a B Corp.

Spencer Bolles is IT Director for Bay Area Community Resources.

Read more about the Idea Accelerator and pitched projects on NTEN’s blog.

NTEN
This is the home of nonprofit professionals learning about the ways technology helps them meet their missions. More than 50,000 community members access NTEN’s capacity-building programs and services, including educational courses, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and online and in-person discussion spaces.