Public-Private Partnership to Help Humanitarian Organizations Respond to Cyber Threats
NetHope, USAID, and Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA) are pleased to announce a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for establishing an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) committed to supporting the increase of cybersecurity shared services and tools for the humanitarian sector. CyberPeace Institute, an independent and neutral NGO committed to assisting humanitarian NGOs to prepare against cyber attacks, also intends to join the MOU.
Cyber attacks continue to increase globally at an unprecedented rate, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian organizations must incorporate cybersecurity into programming to mitigate the myriad attacks they face as they seek to improve the lives of millions of people across the globe in dire need. Unfortunately, many humanitarian and conservation aid organizations are unprepared to face this growing threat.
Once established, the ISAC will enable host governments, donors, technology companies, and other trusted providers to support the spectrum of information security needs of nonprofit agencies and the world’s most vulnerable communities.
“This is a groundbreaking partnership with USAID and Okta that will make the NetHope Global Humanitarian ISAC possible,” said Lance Pierce, CEO of NetHope. “Leveraging NetHope’s global network of 65 Member organizations, USAID’s convening power, and Okta’s technology expertise, the ISAC will support global humanitarian nonprofits to increase their cybersecurity preparedness so the most vulnerable, and those who assist them, are better protected.”
The NetHope Global Humanitarian ISAC will be designed to support each nonprofit Member’s primary focus area and factor in geopolitics, digital ethics, and disinformation risks. The ISAC will identify cyber risks and suggest remediations, provide training and advice to nonprofit staff on cyber security and threat response, and provide tools and technology to receive and react to threats.
Many nonprofits are kept from scaling up technologies due to information security resource constraints as they respond to increasing humanitarian and conservation emergencies worldwide. The single ISAC for global humanitarian nonprofits will act as a force multiplier that brings contextually sensitive expertise into one platform to drive efficiency, reach, and digital impact to those they serve.
“The technology sector has a collective responsibility to improve tech access and capabilities for all. As one of the leading identity providers, Okta’s responsibility naturally extends to ensuring everyone can safely access and use technology,” said Erin Baudo Felter, Vice President of Social Impact and Sustainability at Okta. “Technology companies, governments, and funders can and should unite to design unified, and ultimately more effective, cybersecurity solutions that empower and better protect implementing partners, partner governments, and nonprofit organizations’ crucial work. Okta is proud to partner with NetHope and USAID in these efforts.”
“Our collective ability to protect the most vulnerable online is the most urgent and critical issue to address on the journey towards cyberpeace,” said Stéphane Duguin, CEO of CyberPeace Institute. “ISACs have long proven to be a key asset in building cyber resilience and it is time for humanitarian actors to have their own. Our Institute's commitment to assisting NGOs to build cyber capacity continues as we proudly support NetHope, USAID and Okta with the launch of the Global Humanitarian ISAC.”
This is only the beginning of this critical work and will require many partners beyond these four organizations, including institutional funders outside the United States and other major technology platform providers. To learn more about the NetHope ISAC or to get involved, please visit nethope.org.
Okta is one of the leading independent identity providers. The Okta Identity Cloud enables organizations to securely connect the right people to the right technologies at the right time. With more than 7,000 pre-built integrations to applications and infrastructure providers, Okta provides simple and secure access to people and organizations everywhere, giving them the confidence to reach their full potential. More than 16,400 organizations, including JetBlue, Nordstrom, Slack, Takeda, Teach for America, and Twilio, trust Okta to help protect the identities of their workforces and customers.
NetHope, a consortium of over 65 leading global nonprofits, unites technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges. Together, the NetHope community achieves positive change, building a shared platform for insight and action for those who receive aid, those who deliver it, and those who steward the environment for future generations. To learn more about NetHope, visit nethope.org.
USAID is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID transforms families, communities, and countries – so they can thrive and prosper. USAID demonstrates America’s goodwill around the world; increases global stability by addressing the root causes of violence; opens new markets and generates opportunity for trade; creates innovative solutions for once unsolvable development challenges; saves lives; and advances democracy, governance, and peace. USAID’s efforts are both from and for the American people.
About CyberPeace Institute
The CyberPeace Institute is an independent and neutral nongovernmental organization whose mission is to ensure the rights of people to security, dignity and equity in cyberspace. The Institute works in close collaboration with relevant partners to reduce the harms from cyberattacks on people’s lives worldwide. By analyzing cyberattacks, the Institute exposes their societal impact, how international laws and norms are being violated, and advances responsible behavior to enforce cyberpeace.