Your Data Safety Is Important

Main Image

Friday, August 4, 2017

In the age of personal data and privacy concerns, business, non-profits and churches alike are concerned about how to protect their hardware and software. Here at GCFA, we take IT Security of the denomination – be it large annual conferences or small local churches – very seriously.  Luckily, best practices and solutions exist.

Seemingly every week there is a new article about security breaches.  Take comfort in knowing we take every measure possible to protect information and data of the denomination and its members. Our relationships with vetted corporate partners support our goal to protect local church IT systems, as well as personal information. One such partner is Vanco Payment Solutions, an organization assisted with electronic giving. Vanco provides its privacy policy that assists local churches who participate in their electronic giving platforms. In addition, the Church Network, the organization that works with GCFA to certify church business administrators, recently posted an article on church cyber-security to assist churches in protecting church data and systems. 

The security strategy of GCFA is designed to create barriers to access that will prevent or delay attackers from doing damage and stealing or accessing devices and data on the premises. We do this with a private cloud network/server hosting environment. Each UMC entity using our IT services is physically isolated from one another on the network. Each entry point to our network is equipped with a Cisco ASA firewall with intrusion prevention sensors enabled to alert staff of any potential breaches and security risks. These are the types of security measures to take for your local church systems as well. This article, “Online Security for Churches”, outlines other best practices. We want to thank the North Carolina Annual Conference for informing local churches in their area about the need for, and how to respond to, data breaches. We applaud these as well as all efforts to protect our data and systems.
 
Firewalls, securely hosted servers, and email intrusion prevention are just a few steps churches of all sizes can employ to protect their IT systems. The IT professional staff at GCFA is bound by the “Data Privacy Policy”, “Privacy Policy”, and “Security Monitoring Policy”. If you would like to review these policies or have questions on GCFA IT Security, please contact us at SharedServices@gcfa.org.

At GCFA, we would encourage each local church and annual conference to review their IT security practices. Discuss your plans with your Trustees, Pastor(s), Church Conference and/or Finance Committee to find out what measures are being taken for your church. Feel free to share your stories of how you are being protected by contacting SharedServices@gcfa.org

Share this article: