Donor Series: Patricia Toothman

CyberPeace Institute

While technology shapes every aspect of our lives from when we wake up, to how we work, it is crucial that we secure the entire digital infrastructure to ensure everyone, especially vulnerable communities have equal access to technology’s benefits. In the pursuit of a safe cyber landscape, we are thrilled to present the fifth instalment of our Donors’ series.

We had the privilege of interviewing Patricia Toothman, Splunk’s Social Impact Manager. Join us as we explore Splunk’s mission and gain insight on creating a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all.


Patricia Toothman
Splunk, Social Impact Manager

At Splunk our purpose is to build a safer and more resilient digital world. The key to our approach is partnering across sectors to harness the power of data for good. Splunk is committed to building an ecosystem of partners and collaborators to tackle this critical problem now. Our customers and partners span all sectors across the world, and by working in partnership, we can mobilize our collective talent, resources and technical solutions to enact positive outcomes.

WORKING TOGETHER

Why does Splunk support the CyberPeace Institute? Why is the work of the Institute important to your organization?

The work of the CyberPeace Institute aligns closely with Splunk’s purpose to build a safer and more resilient digital world. The Institute also shares Splunk’s commitment to bridging the data divide – the disparity between the expanding use of data to create commercial value and the comparatively weak use of data to solve social and environmental challenges. We believe that tackling the data divide requires a long-term commitment and cross-sector collaboration, and that’s why we are committed to building an ecosystem of partners to tackle this critical problem now. 

We’ve had the privilege to support CyberPeace Institute since 2021. We have consistently been impressed with the Institute’s focus on capacity building, global reach, leveraging knowledge from the for-profit sector to support nonprofits, and creating scalable solutions.  In recent years, Splunk has deepened our focus on enhancing data security in the social sector, a priority we very much share with the Institute.

What impact have you seen stemming from your support to the Institute?

Splunk sees building an ecosystem of partners and collaborators as crucial to making an impact on cybersecurity and digital resilience. Put simply, we see digital resilience as a “team sport” requiring participation from all parts of society—with non-governmental organizations playing a critical role. One of the ways we’ve helped build that ecosystem was through the October 2023 “Building Resiliency in the Social Sector” conference, which Splunk supported as a leading sponsor. We were thrilled to include Adrien Ogée, COO of CyberPeace Institute, on the conference steering committee, joining experts from DataKind, data.org, and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation to provide invaluable input. At the conference, Adrien also joined Per Scholas’ Damien Howard for a well-received fireside chat on bridging the cyber skills gap in nonprofit organizations. We’re excited to explore more ways we can amplify our collective impact.

Why is supporting non-governmental organizations – such as the CyberPeace Institute – in cybersecurity so important today?

Splunk recognizes that cyber threats continue to grow in sophistication and severity. We encourage all organizations to adopt best-in-class solutions for improving their cybersecurity posture, making us all safer. Splunk supports the application of best practices and productive information sharing among the nonprofit sector, government and industry.

At the same time, we recognize that nonprofit organizations face urgent cybersecurity challenges but are often constrained by limited resources and funding. As the CyberPeace Institute’s experience has taught us, many NGOs are unaware they can be a target for a cyber attack, nor do they realize how vulnerable their own critical assets are. The CyberPeace Builders program, which matches skilled volunteers to address the critical needs of nonprofits, offers a scalable, proven model that helps protect NGOs. 

We seek to help bridge that gap by supporting nonprofit partners with unrestricted grants augmented with donations of product licenses, training, and services. 

What advice would you give to other potential donors interested in supporting the CyberPeace Institute?

Splunk urges other donors to join us in providing unrestricted grants. We believe that CyberPeace Institute – and all our partners – best understand their communities’ needs and should be able to direct resources where it is most critical. 

As an organization, one of your greatest assets is your brand and reputation. By supporting and amplifying the work of the Institute, you help raise awareness of its mission and inspire other organizations to follow your lead and do more good.

Last but certainly not least, the Institute’s programs offer an outstanding way to connect your employees’ tech expertise with meaningful, high-impact volunteer opportunities.

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© Copyright 2023: The concepts and information contained in this document are the property of the CyberPeace Institute, an independent non-governmental organization headquartered in Geneva, unless indicated otherwise from time to time throughout the document. This document may be reproduced, in whole or in part, provided that the CyberPeace Institute is referenced as author and copyright holder.

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Individual lives can be changed dramatically by the acts of cyber criminals. We need your support to assist victims of cyberattacks in the NGO, humanitarian and healthcare sectors.

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