Security Lessons from Nehemiah (Part 2)

Hebrew looking at scroll while workers build a wall

In my first article, I showed how examples of how Nehemiah prepared for security. He used his connections, asked for resources, then inspected his walls. Now comes the part where you must install those processes and measures. Nehemiah rallied the Jewish community. Then he fought attacks while building. Finally, he helped those in need. All of these are great ideas for implementing your digital security plans.

As I mentioned in the previous article, you need to take an inventory of all your digital assets. Then examine what vulnerabilities exist. Now the hard part kicks in. You need to actually put those security measures. But yet again, Nehemiah has some lessons to make it easier, and reduce your risks.

It Takes Community

Repairs to the walls of Jerusalem were not made by one person, or even one family. The entire community was “next to” each other in the repairs. After you inspect your digital walls, you will find many vulnerabilities. Just remember that you are not to do this alone. Often you will have a team of staff and volunteers to assist you. If you feel overwhelmed, ask other churches what they do for security. Either way, please get your entire staff involved. Then move on to train your congregation on the importance of security. If you have a public wireless hot spot, ask that your visitors use them with prudence. If there are computer kiosks, ask that they use them for church business only. Regardless, you are not in this alone.

Expect Attacks

The Jews experienced harsh ridicule and constant attacks as they tried to rebuild their wall. It should not surprise you that church networks experience regular attacks. I get daily hacking attempts on websites I run. I have even had a website compromised, with code injected into several parts of it. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience. My reputation on Google was compromised. The site’s search rankings took a hit. Plus I spent hours cleaning up and restoring code. It was a brute force attack that I could not have prepared for. But I was ready to respond. I contacted the pastor and congregation about the malware on the site. I also updated social media outlets about the attack. Hiding was not an option; I needed to protect my visitors. The Jews built with a weapon in hand. Thus you should secure your networks and properties with an attack in mind.

Help the Needy

Your new security measures should include creating policy for passwords and usage of accounts. Any computers on your networks should have a baseline of updates made. What operating system, and are those systems adequately patched. This includes any guest wireless access. Offer a quick workshop on how to properly set up laptops and mobile devices. Teach members how to secure them with patches and passwords. Also, tell your congregation about securing their personal digital properties. A compromised Facebook account could mean unwanted posts. They could be inappropriate content, or worse, links to malicious sites. Avoid weak links and get everyone in a better security posture.

Action Item

First, review my first article on how to best prepare for your security measures. Then follow this second round of advice from Nehemiah. For more ideas on educating your congregation, consider hosting a Social Media Sunday. Next, examine the scriptures and see what other lessons you can learn from them. Pastors and church leadership can probably help you find themes in the Bible for whatever you want to learn about. Lastly, thank you for reading this article series. These Bible-inspired articles are close to my heart. I am blown away when the Word of God directly influences me to help others. So thank you again and may God bless your ministries.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.