It may be hard to believe that churches, a place that can add so much value to the communities they serve, can be so vulnerable to attack, but that is the case. According to churchexecutive.com, in 2015, 3.4 percent of the 40,000 cyber hacks made daily were against religious organizations. Now, nearly seven years later, that percentage has risen considerably.
What are hackers after?
"What are hackers after?" You might be asking yourself. Churches store valuable information that cyber criminals want. Everything from the personal info of your members' accounts to critical church banking info, tithes and offerings, and much more. As time has gone on, hackers have become more and more sophisticated, which has made putting systems in place to prevent attacks even more pressing.
At the very least, not being cyber-ready could put you and your members in danger of privacy invasions and losing essential assets. At the worst, it could do all that and cause your church to close its doors.
What areas of your church are at risk?
It's no secret that hackers are after the money given to churches. Whether it's gaining access to member passwords to intercept their giving or installing code in the backend of your system so that they can quietly steal without you noticing, hackers are crafty. Bookkeeping is one of the first places they'll start when trying to attack your church.
Though money is usually the place that hackers begin, for them, there is also value in gaining your members' data (i.e., Name, address, date of birth, social security numbers, etc.) All of that can be used by hackers to affect your members negatively. They can open up accounts in their names, hack their personal accounts, hold their data and info ransom, and so much more.
Many churches today have an opportunity for their members and visitors to access additional resources. However, whether it's books, apparel, or even access to experiences, churches collect valuable information that is not always connected to giving. Since this information is often housed separately from giving records, it's also essential to secure that system.
All in all, in this day and age, if you're not taking steps toward protecting yourself against hackers, you become their most accessible target. If your church has not made steps towards securing your online presence, fine-tuning your giving portal, and safeguarding your members' data, take the first step today by contacting a cyber security professional.
At 1600 Avenue, we are committed to helping churches stay safe and protect themselves against cyber attacks and hackers. Click here to reach out to our team of experts for help and us.
In addition, you can click here to learn more and gain access to our National Privacy and Cybersecurity Center, where you'll get ongoing church-specific cyber safety education and on-demand help for your digital needs.