ADL Offers Cybersecurity Guidance to Jewish Community Organizations

New York, NY, December 22, 2014 … In an effort to raise awareness of the threat of cyberattacks among Jewish community organizations and synagogues, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted an online seminar which provided information on the current threat landscape and tips on how to protect computer servers against malicious attacks.

In the seminar, organized by the National Association for Temple Administration and the North American Association of Synagogue Executives and promoted as well by the Orthodox Union and Chabad, an ADL expert on cyberhate response joined a representative the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Watch Unit to offer guidance to more than 80 Jewish communal representatives from across the country.

“Like the public and retail sectors, synagogues and community institutions need to be on guard 24/7 for hackers and attempted acts of cyber intrusion,” said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director.  “We’ve already seen some isolated incidents where synagogues have fallen prey to hacker attacks. Unfortunately, given the world we live in, Jewish institutions and organizations remain a prime target of anti-Semites and cyber-terrorists and must always be on guard.”

“The goal for synagogues, schools and community institutions should be to safeguard their databases, websites, e-mails and other digital information against the ‘hacker-frenzy’ environment that now exists around the world,” said Jonathan Vick, ADL Assistant Director for Cyberhate Response and one of the facilitators of the Dec. 17 webinar. “If Sony, Target and Home Depot can fall victim to hackers, so too can Jewish organizations. Simple steps can help prevent loss of data and other risks associated with doing business in the online environment.”

This was the second cyber security seminar organized by ADL in recent months. In August, the League held a program for local Jewish communal institutions in Los Angeles, California called “The Cyber Threat Landscape,” which provided information and tips on various cyber security issues and threats.