Computer & IT

Every organisation needs to secure their computers. Data held on computers can be stolen, lost or damaged - either deliberately, or accidentally.

Jewish organisations’ computers and data may be targeted by hostile groups who seek to attack or monitor Jewish individuals, organisations, buildings and events.

Follow these basic security procedures below to better protect your computers and the information they store: Physical security of computer hardware:

Drive encryption - where possible laptop drives should be encrypted.

Computer Repairs - Sensitive data must be removed before computing equipment leaves the office for service or repair.

Secure Disposal – before disposal of old hardware, ensure that hard drives are removed and destroyed.

Data Protection:

Data Loss and Backups - data should be regularly backed up so that it can be fully restored if lost or corrupted. Backups should be securely transported and stored off-site on a regular basis, so that data can still be recovered if on-site backups are lost or damaged. Test restores should be performed regularly.

USB pens – extra care should be taken with USB pens – ideally personnel should be issued with business USB pens to be regularly accounted for and not removed from the building. Personal USB pens should not be used at work.

Passwords - Use a password of at least eight characters consisting of capitals, lower case letters and numbers to protect sensitive information. Avoid passwords involving personal information such as children's names, football teams etc.

Email – think before sending sensitive information by email as it can be intercepted. Passwords should be changed regularly.

Restrict Access – access to sensitive information should be limited to users that need it.

Lock Workstations – workstations should be locked when users are away from their desks – screensavers which lock the screen after a set amount of idle time are recommended.

External threats:

Viruses, malware – Install anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware software on all machines. Regular scans should be performed and the software updated daily. Computer viruses are constantly developing and are being sent to unsuspecting victims.

Firewalls - Prevent hackers from exploring a system whilst connected to the Internet by implementing firewalls on all Internet-connected computers.

Human factors - It is vital that all computer users know the possible risks to computer systems, and how to use the chosen security tools to reduce risk. Once decisions, tools and training have been implemented, users' computer usage must be monitored to ensure systems are secure.

This page is intended to provide basic guidelines only. CST is able to advise Jewish community organisations requiring further information on computer security.

Future Updates

“"The Guardian of Israel doesn't slumber or sleep". This feeling of safety and security that we search for and need is gratefully appreciated when it's given to us by the CST. It really is a pleasure to work with the CST and to be looked after and cared for by them. Where ever I go throughout Britain, in all our Synagogues from north to south the impact and help given by the CST is warmly valued.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism