523 – Fortified Networks

This week on WELSTech, we bring in the network security experts from our own WELS Technology team for an overview of the why, what, and how of network security, cloud security, firewalls, and VPNs. There’s also an exciting conference announcement, royalty-free Christmas images and videos, and a mobile app that’s really great at social media marketing.

The interview and discussion:

Networks – Networks are everywhere. Chances are you have one at home and work. How safe is it? How about your information that lives in it? We are joined by two synod employees whose job it is to keep bad guys out and help users practice safe computing. Dan Rebers and Rob Benson help us all think smartly about fortifying our networks.

News in tech:

iPhone X is here

WELS now:

  • Mark your calendars! WELS EdTechLead19, (our next WELSTech + Education & Leadership conference) is scheduled for June 25-27, 2019 at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI
  • Visit WELS Campus Ministry (wels.net/campus-ministry) to connect college students with WELS congregations and resources

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Ripl – A Marketing Team in Your Pocket

Community feedback:

Reach out to local media with tech in ministry topics – Shepherd of the Lakes, Fairmont, MN

Featured video:

Check out new daily video devotions from Your Time of Grace. The current series is title “Joy in Hard Places.” Watch Joy in Humility.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 524 – Security month continues as we discuss phishing and virus defense with Martin Luther College Network Services personnel. Release date: Wednesday, November 22.

Wartburg image attribution: By Ingersoll – Self-photographed, Public Domain, Link

Get involved:

Ripl – A Marketing Team in Your Pocket

522 – Pa33w0rds!

A new month of WELSTech brings a new topic…this one both timely and critical…security! How safe is your data? Who knows your password? How about your social security number? What can you do to protect yourself and your organization? We’ll talk passwords, encryption, private networks, and everything else security to help you figure out how best to protect all your stuff and yourself!

The discussion:

Let me in – Martin and Sallie discuss all things password – from managing passwords to two-factor-authentication to strong passwords and phrases. It’s the most important topic we all dread!

News in tech:

WELS now:

The current Interactive Faith online Bible Study, Luther’s Lasting Impact, led by Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Prof. Joel Otto, will wrap up on November 8 at 6 pm and 8 pm (central).

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Writing a Password Policy

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Read PC Magazine’s recently updated Best Password Managers of 2017 article and watch the embedded “How Your Password Was Stolen” video, fully of geeky goodness, Lego-style.

Following up on last week’s video selection, visit the CELC’s page on 95 Theses for the 21st Century for text versions of the statements.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 523 – The security discussion turns to networks, virtual private networks (VPNs), and tunnels with WELS Technology team members Dan Rebers and Rob Benson. Release date: Wednesday, November 15.

Get involved:

Writing a Password Policy

Passwords have been around for as long as the internet has, and if you count your ATM pin codes, even longer. They were used in Roman times and were critically important in the Battle of Normandy…a battle my father fought in. Here is an interesting snippet from Wikipedia.

Passwords in military use evolved to include not just a password, but a password and a counterpassword; for example in the opening days of the Battle of Normandy, paratroopers of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division used a password—flash—which was presented as a challenge, and answered with the correct response—thunder. The challenge and response were changed every three days. American paratroopers also famously used a device known as a “cricket” on D-Day in place of a password system as a temporarily unique method of identification; one metallic click given by the device in lieu of a password was to be met by two clicks in reply. (click for full article)

We use passwords for our home alarm systems, to get into our bank accounts, and to retrieve email. They secure our 401K’s, tax returns and photo libraries. They are important. And increasingly so as we personally, and as non-profit organizations are under constant attack by those who’d love to get into our stuff. But how many of us know how to write a strong password security policy? If you are responsible for your organizations security, you need to know.

Password Policy Template

I ran across an excellent blog post over the weekend that should help your thinking when crafting a good password policy for your ministry team or faculty. It was called Password Policy Template, but it offered more than just that. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Password Creation
    • A password should be unique, with meaning only to the employee who chooses it.
    • Employees must choose unique passwords for all of their company accounts, and may not use a password that they are already using for a personal account.
    • All passwords must be changed regularly, with the frequency varying based on the sensitivity of the account in question.
  • Protecting Passwords
    • Employees may never share their passwords with anyone else, period!
    • Employees must refrain from writing passwords down and keeping them at their workstations.

There were other nice tips there as well. Read the article for more.

Related resources

Complex Password Generators:
Good Articles:

See All Ministry Resources