Guidance Note on the Implications of Cyber Threats for Humanitarians

Publication language
Date published
12 Apr 2023
Data protection / Responsible data management, Data security, Information Management

Humanitarian organizations rely more than ever on digital technologies to assist and protect people in crisis. These technologies enable humanitarians to gather data to understand and respond to the needs of affected people, and offer new channels to deliver aid through unprecedented digital proximity. However, this increased digitalization is not without risks - chief among them is the growing risk of cyber threats. Cyber threats are one of the most pressing issues facing the humanitarian sector today. Digital transformation, increasing dependence on information and communications technology (ICT), and the prevalence of cyber threats create a new array of risks for humanitarian agencies and the people they serve. The sector lacks a shared approach to mitigating the risk and potential impact of cyber threats.

This Guidance Note aims to help build a common understanding and support more strategic, collective action within the sector. It provides an overview of the cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and implications facing humanitarians and people affected by crises, and offers recommendations to increase cyber resilience within and across organizations and their partners