The New Cyber Religion

Religious organizations are becoming a target for cyber criminals.   In recent years several churches have fallen victim to phishing and ransomware attacks.

Any organization that collects personal and financial data is at risk. Unfortunately, many are not fully prepared to either understand the severity or magnitude of such attacks.

What might a cyber attack look like? 

  • A data breach, infection or virus occurs months before being discovered.
  • Defaced or compromised websites.
  • Identity theft or financial (bank accounts) information stolen.
  • Successful Phishing, Ransonware or Social Engineering attacks result in financial or reputational damage.

Be proactive. Adopt cyber plans and policies that identify and protect digital assets.

Start simple.

Institute a security and vulnerability patch management regime.

Update all security patches on your browser, email, computers, servers and devices.

Turn on filters and turn off devices when not in use.

Deploy Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and encrypt data for all devices and web traffic.

Educate and train employees to use multi-factor authentication protocols and stronger password management.

Educate and train employees to identity suspicious emails and websites. Restrict downloading of files.  Avoid “free software” offerings.  

Adjust browser security settings to enable application permissions and white/black lists. 

Develop with a third party incident response and data backup/restoration plans.

Harden network infrastructure. To include content filters, and intrusion prevention software.  

Install SPAM and Web filters. To detect suspicious emails and websites.

Install and update anti-spyware/virus software. 

Test. Conduct regular audits using certified security professionals. 

Selected Reference and Resources Councilofnonprofits,  US-Cert  and  NIST

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Author Disclosure

I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I have no vested interest in any of the products, firms or institutions mentioned in this post. Nor does the Analyst Syndicate. This is not a sponsored post.

Disclosure

The views and opinions in this analysis are my own and do not represent positions or opinions of The Analyst Syndicate. Read more on the Disclosure Policy.

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