A subcommittee for the Florida Baptist Convention has concluded that none of its employees were responsible for a cyberattack resulting in the theft of $700,000 from the convention.
According to The Christian Post, the FBC subcommittee, which worked with auditors, cyber-forensics specialists and state and federal authorities to investigate the cyberattack, gave the report to the State Board of Missions at a meeting in late August.
“The investigation revealed no criminal activity on the part of any Florida Baptist Convention staff person but instead concluded that the crime was the result of sophisticated cybertargeting by, at this point, unknown perpetrators,” the FBC report asserted.
“The subcommittee’s work culminated in the recommendation for strengthened financial protocols and ongoing training for convention staff.”
Along with finding none of its employees at fault, the convention offered recommendations for strengthening the organization’s cyber and financial security.
The recommendations urged the convention to:
- “Provide staff training on recognizing suspicious emails and other sophisticated cyberattacks.
- Enable multifactor authentication logins when available.
- Verbally verify any changes to payment instructions requested by a vendor related to accounts payable or an employee related to payroll.
- Discuss with the church’s insurance agent the programs and levels of coverage available to help the church in the event of a cyberfraud experience.
- Engage a cybersecurity professional to provide analysis of information technology infrastructure and security.”
FBC Executive Director-Treasurer Tommy Green apologized for the security breach in the statement, noting that it was the first time in his more than 40 years in ministry that he had encountered a crime like this.
“Everything we do is built on trust,” Green was quoted as saying in an announcement about the findings shared on the FBC website. “I’m sorry. We will move forward. We are better, and we’ll continue to get better,” he continued.
Green went on to note that “churches are learning from the convention’s fraudulent experience.”
The FBC first announced the theft in May, noting that they had fallen victim to a “highly sophisticated cybercrime which used fraudulent emails” to steal the whopping sum.
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Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.