Our approach to information security

We are information security specialists. We have been helping human rights organizations develop and implement information security strategies since 1982. In that time, we have learned many lessons and have honed our approach to focus on systematic, specialized, and long-term solutions.

Analyzing threats, capacity and potential harm is a mandatory initial step of any new project. Our staff is up-to-date with recent threats, tools and approaches to improve security. This is a process that is coordinated by our internal security lead, and supported by our board for which several members have considerable expertise in the field.

We lead this process through five steps :

  1. We undertake participatory threat assessments and security audits so that you understand the situation you are in and identify the right course for action.
  2. We develop information security plans and policies to facilitate the adoption of new tools and techniques at your own pace. Why? Evaluations of trainings and the results from our previous project have shown that often organizations are overwhelmed when they are expected to change many longstanding habits all at once.
  3. We implement new measures and tools accompanied by training and coaching with staff and/or other stakeholders together with local experts to ensure they are context-appropriate. When possible and needed, we also widen the scope of expertise to include adjacent fields, including physical security, psychosocial support, or the law.
  4. We provide ongoing support to previous beneficiaries when they request and help build the community of security consultants in the region.
  5. Incident response and further spreading of secure practices are dependent on a strong network and a security culture respected and internalized by critical internet users and their peers.

We have worked with human rights organizations all over the world – many in places affected by wars or mass violations. Through this information security support, we have helped human rights defenders ensure their own safety as they work to collect and transmit sensitive human rights information.

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