Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWFL Takes Proactive Steps to Protect Donors and Guests

Fort Myers, FL –  Following the advice of its IT management consultant, Stickboy, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida (RMHC-SWFL) took proactive steps to protect its donors and guests from the alarming rise in cyber and ransomware attacks across the nation. With the dramatic increase in Russian and other foreign attacks, businesses and not-for-profit entities are at an elevated risk. In a security audit conducted by Hammer IT Consulting, RMHC-SWFL received an A+ rating, the highest possible score, in an IT security audit. The audit evaluated the organization’s systems, networks, and data to ensure they meet industry and compliance standards for protecting sensitive information. The audit also evaluated third-party vendors to be sure all levels of access are protected.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring our donors’ information is safe and our guests can be confident in secure connectivity,” said Laura Ragain, president & CEO of RMHC-SWFL. “Along with our IT team Stickboy, we agreed that there was no other option than an A+ rating and we will never compromise on security. We’re very proud of our team and the dedication everyone has shown to keep our systems safe from outside attacks.”

Hammer IT Consulting provides comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessments using a hacker’s perspective to help organizations understand their current cybersecurity posture, identify potential gaps and risks, remediate those gaps and risks, and ultimately implement an effective cybersecurity framework. The company utilized National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST 800) cybersecurity framework. The goal of the audit was to ensure donor data and guest connections remain secure. The entire digital footprint was evaluated including public facing systems such as email, website, networks as well as internal processes and programs such as donor and guest database management systems. Additionally, the company conducted a dark web scan to determine if any accounts were hacked or leaked. 

“Cybersecurity threats are on the rise for organizations of all sizes and in every industry,” said Bennett Hammer, president of Hammer IT Consulting. “The most likely point of failure in your cybersecurity posture is the vulnerability you don’t know about—that’s where cybercriminals are most likely to break in and cause damage.”

According to Josh Zachritz, executive vice president of operations at Stickboy, RMHC-SWFL’s proactive decision to be sure its network is secure is the best approach a company can make to protect its most sensitive and valuable assets.

“Every company should do this, but many don’t until it’s too late,” said Zachritz. “When we advised Ronald McDonald House Charities that it is best practice to be ahead of an attack instead of behind it, they decided to invest in prevention instead of try to recover from the financial devastation that can be caused by hackers and ransomware.”  

Note the following statistical data regarding ransomware trends and threats: Ransomware Trends, Statistics and Facts in 2023 (

RMHC-SWFL provides a home-away-from-home for families of critically ill children receiving medical treatment in Southwest Florida. The organization’s mission is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

For more information about RMHC-SWFL and its programs, please visit