The highly requested and briefly treasured gifts that were unwrapped on December 25 are already collecting dust on the shelves. Your family (like mine) possibly missed the important lesson of contentment. Contentment is defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction. It might also be defined as a secure network.

Do you have “happiness and satisfaction” with the gifts you received? Do your children? It seems a naturally learned tendency for kids to observe the sizes, quantity, and perceived value of the presents they have received, but then to also compete and compare with the presents given or talked about by siblings, friends, and classmates. The truth is, sometimes-basic things fulfill all of our needs, and the bells and whistles just clutter the experience. For a true life of satisfaction, preaching contentment to our little-loved ones is essential. And it’s not just about our children: this is true for us, too.

Contentment, of course, goes way beyond gifts at Christmas. With the fallen world constantly bombarding us with false subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages on what “success” looks like or how our bodies should be shaped, I believe I speak for the majority of us when I say that I need to constantly pray for contentment. 1 Timothy 6:6 reads: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” And yet, I’ve seen first hand how struggles with contentment can also seep into our IT Ministries at churches.

Churches across the U.S. come in all sizes (thank God!), and so it makes sense that IT budgets would therefore also vary in size. If you are an IT Director of a smaller church, at times, one can quickly get disheartened at seeing the technical advancements: lighting, sound, and IT infrastructure on glaring display at a “big” church.

While maximizing your IT Security should be a critical priority in securing your network, it doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In my 20+ years of experience, I’ve seen many organizations overpay for the latest, trending hardware, appliances, and software that they don’t need or that they purchase and then leverage less than 10 percent of the included fancy modules and features they paid for.

Here are a couple inexpensive, critical ways to protect your church and its staff securely without having to take up a special ‘love offering’ to meet your IT needs.

  1. Install strong client-based anti-virus and firewall software. Thirtyseven4 Endpoint Security incorporates both + much more and is priced fair and honestly.
  2. Manage regular backups. With hundreds of Cloud-based backup solutions competing for your business, backing your data to the Cloud is easy and inexpensive.
  3. Keep all OS and software applications up-to-date. Software updates are free and essential to keeping your devices from threats.
  4. Invest in your staff. Security is as much knowing where the issue may come from as it is fixing any potential holes. Educate your staff on (simple) safety tips, and the real dangers of not being vigilant (and clicking on things we should not).

It is easy to look at what we don’t have as opposed to what we do. As I peruse our living room and basement and see forgotten items that were “must have”, expensive Christmas gifts just a few weeks ago, I see the parallel into our Technology whims. Seek contentment. Whether you manage a large or small network environment, there are inexpensive and logical ways to adequately secure your network.

Wishing you a happy and satisfied 2019!