Recent cyberattacks affecting prominent Australian businesses have highlighted the importance of continuing to improve the measures we use to keep church members’ data safe. The security of your information is our top priority and we want to update you on what we’re doing to ensure your details are protected.
We have developed a new cyber security team at the South Pacific Division which is focused on ensuring the security of our systems and safety of our data. We know how distressing it is to have confidential information leaked as many of us have personally been impacted by the recent high-profile data hacks, and this further motivates us to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep your data protected.
On a technical level our systems, including eGiving, membership and tithes and offerings, are constantly monitored by our team for any suspicious behaviour. We are checking and testing the robustness of our security every day and use industry leading partners and standards to secure our systems and apply updates to our systems promptly. We have rolled out multi-factor authentication and block access from high-risk countries and ensure our test systems only contain random test data.
Our systems are only as secure as the authorised people who manage and use them. In recent breaches we have learned that lost passwords were a key factor, so we tirelessly encourage our staff and users to practise good password guidelines like using a complex password and to use a different password on each site as well as enabling multi-factor authentication.
We are working tirelessly on ensuring we have good governance in place to look at all our risk areas and put in place policies and controls to minimise these risks. Key learnings from the recent high-profile breaches have provided additional focus on what data we need to store and for how long to ensure we only keep information that is relevant and necessary to provide these services to our valued members.
In short, we strive to ensure our technology and the controls we have in place are keeping your personal information safe. With the increase in cyberattacks across the community, we all need to work together to be vigilant and remain alert and ensure our devices are up to date.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe online:
- Change your passwords regularly, for all your online accounts. TIP: Use a password manager.
- Use strong passwords and don’t use the same password across multiple websites or apps.
- Be wary of unexpected communications or messages.
- A message, email or phone call may appear to be from a company you use and trust—don’t click on links, open attachments or provide information if you have any doubts at all. It’s a good idea to double check, by contacting them directly by phone.
- Ensure you’re protecting your devices by keeping them updated with the latest software. Make sure you have automatic updates turned on.
- Be careful about what personal information you share online—birthdays and pets’ names can give clues about your passwords and photos might identify your location or those of your loved ones. This information can be used by scammers to try to convince you to click on or open a link.
Thanks for helping us keep your information safe.
Matthew Mulligan is manager of Cyber Security and Governance at Adventist Technology, South Pacific Division.