Why Data Security Should Be Your #1 Priority

Why Data Security Should Be Your #1 Priority

Why Data Security Should Be Your #1 Priority
March 16, 2021 Jeff Shy

Did you know that the average cost of a single data breach is $3.86 million

What about that 58% of the data stolen or compromised was personal data?

Since 2005, there have been more than 11,000 documented breaches. These breaches can easily lead to identity theft and fraud, causing financial difficulties for both constituents and higher education institutions alike. 

Unfortunately, advancement offices are not immune from this type of malicious attack. Last year, a data security breach affected the advancement offices at several universities around the country including 

– The University of Utah

– The University of Alabama

– Minnesota State University

– The University of Texas

“It has become more important than ever for advancement organizations to protect the security of the data that has been entrusted to them by their constituents,” Jeff Shy, Chairman + CTO said.

Data security simply isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. You need an advancement solution that provides you with the highest levels of security for your constituents’ data.


What is Data Security?

Data security is safeguarding or protecting your most valuable data. It is the offense you have in place to keep your data out of the hands of any unauthorized users who could breach the data, compromising any information you have. 

Data security is a constantly evolving discipline. As hackers devise more devious ways to breach networks and systems, advancement offices need to constantly upgrade their security and firewalls to protect themselves and their constituents. 

36 billion records were exposed by data breaches around the world in the first half of 2020 alone. According to a Verizon report, most data breaches are executed through one of three methods:

Hacking – 45%

– Phishing – 22%

– Malware – 17% 

Whenever data integrity is compromised, everyone- institutions, students, and constituents-  suffers. 

Higher education institutions have a moral obligation to protect their constituents. If there’s a security breach, it can cause a major problem for their university alumni relations. In addition, constituents worry about identity theft and being inundated with targeted marketing based on their personal information

Affinaquest is the Solution to Secure Higher Education Fundraising

Affinaquest is the most secure advancement solution built exclusively to serve higher education institutions. We rely on Salesforce and its robust security methods to safeguard you, your constituents, and your fundraising efforts.

We depend on Salesforce to store your constituent data for a number of reasons. 

  • Salesforce invests heavily in its cloud security, constantly reviewing potential threats and making enhancements to prevent breaches. 
  • Salesforce participates in a number of security certification programs that require periodic security procedure audits.
  • Salesforce not only encrypts data during transfer, but it also performs data encryption in storage as well. 

The Salesforce platform allows you to add additional security to meet PII standards required by GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, COPPA, or CCPA

“By leveraging the robust security tools of the Salesforce platform as utilized by Affinaquest, our clients are able to implement security measures that fully protect the data while retaining the ease of use for which our products have become known,” Jeff Shy, Chairman + CTO said. 

While most advancement offices worry about data breaches from the outside, what about inside your institution? Not everyone in your office needs full access to your constituent database. Affinaquest allows you to put additional safeguards in place, defining data sensitivity and designating certain data points as:

– Public

– Internal


– Restricted


You can also establish permission sets. These combinations of requirements prevent sensitive data from being viewed unless the user has permission to access it.

Protect Your Data With Affinaquest 

When you decide to make Affinaquest your advancement solution, we know you’ve put your faith and trust in us to ensure the safety and security of your constituent data. We don’t take that lightly. Security is one of the most important things we consider in terms of data storage and sharing. 

While we are proud to say Affinaquest has never experienced a data breach, we know hackers are constantly attempting to exploit weaknesses in security systems. 

If your data ever becomes compromised on Salesforce or within Affinaquest, rest assured we will be 100% transparent about the breach. We will notify you of any data breach, so you can notify your constituents and take appropriate steps to safeguard their data. 

That’s a promise. 

See how Affinaquest’s commitment to data security processes protects you and your constituents. See Affinaquest’s security measures in action; book a demo today.  


Connect with and cultivate your constituents in one powerful system.