At Benkorp we’re interested in the success of your general IT and not just the accounts and bookkeeping

Cyber security is for almost everyone these days – that is, everyone who uses or owns a device that uses the internet. Because bookkeeping and accounting are an integral part of your organisation’s administration, it is essential that the overall IT infrastructure is safe and secure.

It’s not just for large organisations. Many of the cyber security breaches feature large in the daily news so it is easy to think it’s their problem. In January this year, a report found an average of 164 cyber crimes are reported by Aussies every day. Consequently, the Australian Government is worried about the growing frequency and sophistication of attacks across the country.

It’s not easy to think that cyber security is relevant for churches, local organisations and home environments – “why would anyone target me, us?” I hear this so many times, especially in church circles and amongst people talking about the latest news headline.

Extortion or ransom, it’s the same. Just last week I received a ransomware email. It contained threatening points and requested money by bitcoin transfer. I proceeded to clear the details and report the incident.

It can happen to anyone. We are all vulnerable

So here are some of the basics:

What is a cyberattack?

It’s an assault on a computer, a device, a network, or the data that’s stored within that network. Some attacks are intended to disable the computer system while others are intended to gain control over it. Others are aimed at infiltrating a system to paralyse it or steal and destroy data.

How do we deal with cyber security and cyberattacks.

The point to start is to understand what’s involved and then implement measures to develop security around your computing systems. In this regard it is imperative that everyone who is involved in your networks in anyway that they understand what cyber security is about. 

It is the same as understanding about the physical security of our homes and churches – where are the locks, where are the weak points, where are the keys and who is responsible for each aspect of the security.

Here are some terms we must know about for our cyber security:

  • malware – is malicious software that includes viruses, trojans, worms, and more. Depending on the software, it might be able to steal data, block access to a computer, and even remotely control it.
  • phishing – is a malicious email or text message that can impersonate someone or something legitimate and by doing that, it lures users to accidentally give up sensitive information.
  • ransomware and it’s a kind of malware that locks up a victim’s files with encryption and then the attacker demands payment to restore access. The ransom can range from a few hundred dollars to millions, and it’s often paid in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

It is important that everyone understands and is familiar with the terms, and not just leaders, councils and boards. Everyone is vulnerable – from reception, all through the office, ministry and mission departments, working in the office and working from home, both staff and volunteers.

An organisation in which I am involved has recently been through a complete review of their internet security. It involved website, giving platform interfaces, accounting, CRM, training for staff on phishing and dealing with incidents.

So here are some practical tips and links to some resources we recommend for your information:

  1. Learn about cyber crime, so that you can share the information in your organisation
  2. Liaise with your IT support provider or other professional for advice about how best to understand your vulnerabilities and implement protections
  3. Develop some protocols for your people about how to protect themselves and your organisation. Note that these same protections apply at home as well as in offices
  4. Implement the protocols and a process for regular followups. Check they are implemented 
  5. Maintain a record of any incidents and their followup

The best place to start is with the government’s own support.

Watch the opening videos here and followup as appropriate:

For questions about how this may affect your accounting and finances, you are welcome to book a call and discuss your concerns with us, Book a Chat.