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4 Aug

Blackbaud Data Security Incident

2020-08-04T13:50:02-04:00

As a member of our broader Alzheimer Society family we are grateful to you for your support of people living with dementia and their care partners across Ontario. You are a vital part of the work we do – thank you.

We are reaching out today to let you know about a data security incident with a third-party vendor, Blackbaud, that may have involved your personal information. The Alzheimer Society takes the protection and proper use of your information very seriously. We want to inform you of what happened in the Blackbaud data security incident and what we know at this time. Blackbaud is the software provider of our donor records system, Raisers Edge.

What Happened
On July 16th, 2020, we were notified by Blackbaud of a security incident within their organization that came to light in May. Since that time, Blackbaud have advised us that they have fully investigated, coordinated with appropriate law enforcement, and resolved the situation (i.e. patched the system vulnerability and implemented new security measures.)

We understand they discovered and stopped a ransomware attack. After discovering the attack, Blackbaud informs us that their security team successfully prevented the cybercriminal from blocking their system access and fully encrypting files; and ultimately expelled them from their system. However, prior to locking the cybercriminal out, a backup file containing constituent information was removed.

Based on their investigation, Blackbaud indicates they have no reason to believe the security incident led to the disclosure of personal information to any other source beyond the initial ransomware attack. After paying the cybercriminals a ransom, the data was returned to Blackbaud with assurances any copies they might have made of the data removed from the system were destroyed.

What We Know
It is important to note that the cybercriminals did not access credit card or banking information. There is also a significant amount of data that is encrypted within the system and would not be vulnerable to exploitation (i.e. Username, Passwords, and Financial Data).

What We Are Doing
Immediately on notification, we began our own investigation of the security incident to determine the full scope of the Alzheimer Society data that may have been at risk. We have been in constant communication with Blackbaud, other organizations across the sector and independent professionals to fully understand the situation as it relates to our donors.

What You Can Do
Stay alert to any third-party communications referencing your relationship with the Alzheimer Society. Access to your personal data puts you at higher risk for phishing attempts and communications from untrustworthy sources. As always, remain aware of your personal and financial data, monitoring your accounts for suspicious or unauthorized activity.

For More Information
We know that these types of incidents can cause concern and we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to understand the full scope of the incident and to ensure your information is protected in the future. Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter and/or the protections available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at privacy@alzheimeront.org.

Sincerely,
Scott Russell
Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Blackbaud Data Security Incident2020-08-04T13:50:02-04:00
15 Jun

Volunteer Highlight: Ophelia

2019-04-25T19:48:38-04:00

My name is Ophelia. I have been a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto since 2013 and have been a regular supporter for many years before that. Their vision of living in a world without dementia is so important to me and very close to my heart.  I lost a loved one to the disease. I felt that it was essential for me to get more involved by helping the Society in their cause in whatever way I can. This is the reason I became a volunteer.

I have enjoyed volunteering with AST these past few years and hope to continue for as long as they will need me. It’s always a pleasure working with the staff and other volunteers. I love the varied volunteer roles I have been participating in. I love and enjoy the experience. To name a few: I help at the office with administrative work (data entry, scanning, sorting and mailings); I help in various roles at the annual Walk for Memories (packing the goodie bags for the Walk participants, registration, providing info to Walkers, etc.); I assist the Social Workers when they host people with dementia and their families or caregivers at the Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario several times a year. It is wonderful interacting with everyone and I learn a lot of things from them.

It is from my volunteering with them that I learned about all the wonderful support and services they provide, not just to people with dementia but also to their families and caregivers. I believe that their education programs to teach people about the disease are vital to the community, especially since it is estimated that the number ­of people living with dementia is increasing dramatically every year.

I will continue to volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for as long as they need me, and hopefully in different roles to add to the ones I have had the privilege of experiencing.

 Are you inspired by Ophelia’s volunteer story? Check out the volunteer opportunities available with AST right now.

Volunteer Highlight: Ophelia2019-04-25T19:48:38-04:00
31 May

The Longest Goodbye

2019-04-25T19:48:38-04:00

Lyndon Blackbird learned how to gently dab and smooth foundation onto his wife’s beautiful face. He’d known Evelyn for almost 30 years, but her beauty regimen was completely new territory. As Evelyn’s early onset Alzheimer’s quickly progressed, Lyndon had to learn a lot more. How to help her shower. How to choose a coordinated outfit and get her dressed every morning. How to calm her down when she got angry or confused.

“When you love somebody, you just want to take care of them,” Lyndon said. “She’s given so much to me over the years, that it just seems like something natural to move forward and take care of her and see her through.”

When Evelyn was diagnosed in February 2012, Lyndon looked into her teary, fearful eyes and promised to stay by her side and devote all his attention to her care. Both of them wanted to be as informed and prepared as possible for the difficult road ahead, so they turned to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for help. Thanks to support from donors like you, Lyndon took a Dementia 101 course, joined a caregiver support group, and developed a roadmap for Evelyn’s care so they could finance everything and everyone she needed: medication, personal support workers, physiotherapists, and ultimately, a nursing home.

“There’s so many programs and seminars that the Alzheimer Society offers,” Lyndon said. “I took advantage of them and I used them and they helped me all the way.”

As Evelyn’s memories quickly faded, Lyndon re-told her stories of their happiest moments together – skydiving, feeding kangaroos in Australia, watching classic movies, hosting Dungeons and Dragons game nights. These are the memories that Lyndon cherishes even more now that Evelyn is gone.

Lyndon also became a board member of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, honouring Evelyn’s wish for him to give back to the community that helped them navigate their journey.

“She wanted me to have a purpose,” he recalled. “I already knew it would be with the Alzheimer Society.”

 

Find out more about how your support helps people like Lyndon and Evelyn. Sign up to get our BEACON online monthly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

The Longest Goodbye2019-04-25T19:48:38-04:00

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