These tactics may help boost your safety.
Your worship center takes security seriously, especially when it comes to its smallest members. If you have an on-site daycare, you likely have safety protocols in place: background checks for staff, childproof locks, security cameras and alarm systems.
However, your center could be overlooking one crucial safety measure that could cost your house of worship millions of dollars if not properly implemented: cybersecurity.
Childcare centers may rely on computers to keep records, tablets to document activities and webcams to give parents a view of their children while away. All of these devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
A facility with bare-bones tech can have even more vulnerabilities from personal smartphones and devices. Securing technology from potential threats is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.
Why Daycare Centers Need Cybersecurity
Earlier this year, the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued guidance to preschools and daycares, warning “cyber-criminals will go after anybody, provided there’s money to be made.”
Money can made off of the data daycares store on their networks. From financial information to the Social Security numbers of students, hackers can exploit or sell data for their own gain.
Whether a breach leads to financial fraud or a liability suit, houses of worship can lose millions in the aftermath. One cyberattack on a church in Ohio cost the congregation $1.75 million.
Many daycares and houses of worship operate on tight budgets as it is. While data breaches can be costly, implementing cybersecurity protocols is significantly less so.
There are several cost-effective tactics worship centers can use to bolster their defense against cyberattacks.
7 Cost-Effective Cybersecurity Measures
Regularly train staff on how to identify phishing scams. Phishing emails and texts claim to be from reliable sources, but upon closer inspection, exhibit red flags: misspellings, threats of legal action, unexpected attachments, etc.
- Password Management
Create strong, memorable passwords by using long phrases or acronyms mixed with numbers and symbols. Avoid using the same password for multiple sites. If possible, invest in a password management system to create and store randomly generated passwords.
- Multi-Factor Identification
Always opt for multi-factor identification if possible.
- Anti-Virus Protection
Invest in anti-viral software and keep it up to date. Malware and viruses are developed every day, so outdated software can leave devices vulnerable.
- Device Settings
Require passwords on all devices and set them to time out. Select “auto-update” within the settings menu to ensure the device is running the latest version of its operating system.
- Separate Accounts
Requiring each user to have separate logins for devices and apps creates a more secure network and provides accountability.
- Backups & Cloud Services
Regularly backup files on external hard drives or invest in a cloud management service.
While not as visible as other dangers, cyberattacks can have devastating effects for childcare centers and the families they serve. Fortunately, with the right training and tools, your organization can help reduce risk.
To learn more about cybersecurity, visit our risk management center here.
This information is courtesy of Glatfelter Religious Practice (GRP), which specializes in insurance and risk management programs for churches and other religious institutions and is a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group (an AIG company), one of the largest program managers in the U.S., www.glatfelterreligiouspractice.com.