Published Jul 07, 2021
Although churches are not the typical target of cybercriminals, church computers and network systems remain vulnerable to hacking and the personal information of donors and employees is subject to compromise.
Innocently clicking on links in so-called phishing or spear-phishing, and similarly authentic-looking, emails inadvertently opened by an employee, volunteer, or anyone else with access to a church computer are frequent sources of unauthorized intrusions into minimally protected computer systems.
Once access is obtained by a hacker, a few problems can result including a:
- ransomware attack,
- denial-of-service hack, or
- a keystroke logging virus designed to capture bank account and credit card numbers or other sensitive personal information.
Church computers open to use by employees, members, volunteers, teens, or younger children – with or without access passwords – are all potential sources of unauthorized intrusions. In the event of a cybercrime, the church should notify employees and possibly hundreds (or even thousands) of donors that their personal information and/or email addresses may have been compromised. Such an intrusion could have a financial impact and a loss of trust. Every church that has one or more Internet-connected computers is vulnerable to cybercrime, and your church insurance may not cover the full amount of a loss.
To learn more about what your church should be doing to protect itself from cybercrime, read the accompanying blog post from Michael Enos, senior director of community and platform at nonprofit resource provider TechSoup.
How to Keep Your Nonprofit Informed of Cybersecurity Threats