Just a decade ago, most data lived in spreadsheets and databases close to home, sometimes right on our desk. IT departments guarded access. The greatest risk to our data was loss through system failure, so full data backups were the rule. Occasionally we would hear of someone’s computers being “hacked,” but it was not a common occurrence.
What happened? Offsite solutions, born in part by the disaster recovery push after 9/11 and the technology that sprang up around it. Hosted or cloud storage became cheap and offered freedom from fears of data loss due to hard drive crashes or mysterious server malfunctions – and also meant greater access to data. Where memory and notes scribbled in tattered files once guided donor cultivation efforts, a few taps on our phones or tablets now reveals up-to-the-minute information and analysis. However, with great (technological) power comes the great responsibility of data security – your data and personal data your donors have entrusted to you.