At the beginning of this year I was introduced to Spencer Hardy, the IT manager for an animal charity called Soi Dog. Soi Dog had been experiencing some issues around their digital security that was beginning to distract from their core operations and was concerning the management team. They approached Digital Shadows to see if we could help them.
If you are unfamiliar, Soi Dog is an amazing charity, originally set up to help provide a humane and sustainable solution to the suffering of street animals in Southeast Asia. It achieves much of its influence through pro-active capture, neuter and release programs – having sterilized and released nearly 300,000 animals to date. These programs produce significant reductions in suffering and has transformed the welfare of the stray population.
Soi Dog provides essential care and treatment to sick and injured animals, as well as sheltering and re-homing programs. The charity lists many great achievements, including the near eradication of rabies from the island of Phuket in Thailand, and the rescue of more than 16,000 animals from the dog meat trade. The charity now operates globally with over 200 staff in offices across Asia, Europe including the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, and France.
As Soi Dog has grown since its creation in 2003, it has increasingly invested in and relied upon digital technology to help it scale its operations. Digital technology has influenced every part of the organization’s work, from animal care through to communications. Most critically, it also supports the essential fund-raising endeavors required to do the essential work.
At Digital Shadows we already have the pleasure of working with other non-profits. So naturally we said that we’d take a look and see if we could help them in managing the digital risks in the organization.
After an initial consultation we saw an opportunity to directly impact on the work of Soi Dog helping them to manage data loss, brand integrity and identify weaknesses. We immediately helped the charity manage its brand and online presence on social media and digital channels, which reduced the risks of fake posts seeking to solicit funds from legitimate donors. We also identified some opportunities to support the security incident response and resilience processes helping the charity implement tighter control on user brands and identities. We identified data loss issues that we could help them rectify, which in turn improved the resilience of communications and fundraising activities.
We’re always proud of our work with charitable organizations, but what has struck me particularly about our work with Soi Dog, is that it demonstrates that all organizations, no matter how small, have to consider how to maximize the benefits of digital transformation, by reducing and minimizing digital risks. Digital risk is not something which is the exclusive realm of certain sectors. It’s something that can impact businesses regardless of their work. Through the investment we have made with Soi Dog, the charity can make sure its resources go as far as possible to help end suffering of dogs and cats in Southeast Asia.
For the dog (and cat) lovers among us, it has been a pleasure to support this amazing charity.