CyberPeace Analytical Report – NGOs serving Humanity at risk: Cyber Threats affecting “International Geneva”

In the heart of International Geneva, a diverse ecosystem thrives, housing 38 international organizations (IOs), 432 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and several hundred associations active at an international level, all united by a shared mission: to make the world a place of peace and justice. NGOs are the unsung heroes, addressing armed conflicts, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises, championing human rights, and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Like many other organizations, NGOs heavily rely on technology, which is critical for projecting their activities globally in real time. Yet, in today’s digital landscape, this reality brings its own set of challenges.

While fighting for the greater good, NGOs must battle against all forms of cyberattacks, ranging from espionage and ransomware to fraud and disinformation. On one side, they are targeted by various threat actors – criminal groups, state actors, terrorist groups or hacktivists – seeking to disrupt their work, compromise data, and tarnish their reputation. On the other, they do not possess human or financial resources to protect themselves.

In Geneva, the CyberPeace Institute safeguards these heroes. Our cybersecurity services for NGOs include threat landscape mapping, volunteer-led consulting, alert notifications, and providing policy recommendations to donors and public/private decision-makers. All these services are free and tailored to the NGOs’ operational reality.

The Report aims to provide actionable recommendations to build capacities and resilience to mitigate cyber risks. It provides insights on the organizational readiness of NGOs to prevent, respond to and recover from cyberattacks. Using data, including primary data from surveys and interviews, the Report looks at the threats NGOs face, the vulnerabilities they are exposed to, and examines their preparedness to mitigate these challenges. Its ambition is to reinforce NGOs’ resilience in a sustainable manner, and for them to become the primary actors of their cybersecurity.

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