By Rev. Marty Levesque
This past December, a weakness was discovered in logging software named Log4Shell. Log4Shell is a zero-day exploit that takes advantage of a hole in popular logging software used in Java.
This means that servers and some routers are particularly vulnerable to a cyberattack that would allow access to or control of the system. This could include access to all the data parishes have collected, including credit cards #s, SIN #'s, Safe Church material and more. Simply put, if it is stored on a computer that is connected to a server or router, your parish might be vulnerable.
Each church should make sure that all devices, software, and firmware that connect to the internet are up-to-date with the latest security patches. This should be done regularly anyway. Much like checking your batteries in your smoke alarms, at least twice a year, all devices connected to the internet should be updated with the latest security patches regularly.
Parishes that have recently signed up to Tithe.ly for their web services have nothing to worry about on the server-side but should still check for firmware updates for their routers. Any self-hosted servers, legacy systems, or niche/small cloud services/servers should be looked at closely and determined that the necessary security patches have been implemented to protect the parish and the data of parishioners.
For small churches that cannot afford paid web services and have a WordPress site hosted on a private server, this is a good time to look at services like Tithe.ly. Large companies have the necessary tech support and security processes to protect your church from cyberattacks.
And while many churches have websites built by volunteers or their children as a school project, these sites most likely have security holes on their servers that need to be addressed. If this is the case for your church, then perhaps this is the time to make that switch to Tithe.ly. If you are interested in making the switch, please reach out to Church House to access the diocesan discount negotiated on your behalf.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo. firstname.lastname@example.org