Posts categorized 'Important Notices'

Upcoming EU & US Database Maintenance

UPDATE 3/4: US Database maintenance was also a complete success. As per usual, we’ll keep an eye on the servers to make sure all is well ūüôā

UPDATE 27/3: EU Database maintenance was a complete success. We’ll keep an eye on the servers in case any sneaky issues pop up ūüôā

We will be performing database maintenance on both our EU and US databases to improve performance, stability and security for our customers.

We have blocked a window to perform the maintenance and tests. During the times listed below, our US and EU customers will not have access to their account. We do not expect it to take the full durations specified below, but be sure to follow our Twitter for progress updates.

Any questions or concerns please reach our to our support team.

Have a great week!

Ben

EU Database

Date: Tuesday, 27th March 2018
Time: 5:00 AM till 6:30 AM (UTC time)
Duration:
 1 hour and 30 minutes
Affected Customers: Customers on our EU server (elvanto.eu)

US Database

Date: Tuesday, 3rd April 2018
Time: 10:00 PM till 11:30 PM (PDT time)
Duration:
1 hour and 30 minutes
Affected Customers: Customers on our US server (elvanto.net)

Elvanto in 2018

Hi Elvanto users! It’s Ben here the founder of Elvanto! We’ve had a massive start to the year and I wanted to stop, reflect and take a moment to share about Elvanto in 2018.

2017 was a great year for Elvanto. A lot went on behind the scenes, unknowingly to our users. We improved security, how we write code, our infrastructure, how we prioritize our backlog and how we approach development.

At the same time, we released a bunch of updates. Here are some of the bigger ones:

  • Group messages
  • Event registration
  • Member directory redesign
  • Service reporting overhaul
  • Occasion messages
  • Volunteer swap and replace
  • New media player
  • Chord chart enhancements
  • Department non-conflicts

I’m excited about 2018. This year we really want to build on the solid foundation we have laid over the past 7 years. There is a lot of functionality in Elvanto and we want to go back and improve key areas. We want them to be simpler. Easier to use. Better to navigate. Fewer clicks. Modernize the UI.

I’ve been talking to customers over the past year and I’m hearing things like our Mobile App needs more features, the need for a Music Stand type app, improvements to make service planning easier, simpler navigation and improve access for volunteers who perform tasks like reporting on attendance, updating their groups and so on. The list goes on.

I’m so thankful that people that take the time share with us because it helps us improve.

This year we want to take said features and more to the next level. Rather than overhauling whole areas all at once which takes a long time, we are going to hit small areas, here and there meaning you receive the value quicker and see things progressing.

Oh, and we just released version 2 of our Mobile App

Android users can gain access to this right now and iOS users will have it in their hands soon!

To allow us to really push hard on the Mobile App this year, we needed a new baseline built into it. So that’s what we did with version 2. Behind the scenes, we have been developing version 2 of our API (it’s not yet public but we are working on it) which version 2 of our Mobile App is based off. This, plus the fact we have overhauled our code will really allow us to bring value to you much faster.

For those who missed our previous blog posts, although version 2 is more of a platform update that will allow us to develop it faster, we’ve added a few new features too. These include volunteer swap/replace, a media player and we also improved the user interface here and there.

Wrapping Up

As I said earlier, I’m excited about 2018. I look forward to adding more value, quicker in 2018.

What would you like to see from Elvanto in 2018?

P.S. We also have just put together a short video sharing some of our story and our heart. Check it out!

Elvanto + GDPR – Our Commitment to Europe! [UPDATED]

UPDATE: May 8th 2018 – We are now GDPR compliant!

In May 2018 a new regulation in Europe is coming into effect to help unify data protection.¬†This is called the¬†General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you’re storing the personal data of EU citizens, this applies to you.

These new privacy laws, although a bit overwhelming at first are an exciting step towards better privacy. I hope that these laws are taken up by other countries in the future.

To show our commitment to our EU customers, we started storing their data in Dublin, Ireland back in 2014. Europe is an important part of Elvanto’s customer base and we are excited to continue to serve¬†this part of the world.¬†When we heard about the GDPR and the need to either comply or stop servicing customers storing EU citizens data, we were 100% on board to ensure we comply.

We are still working to be ready for the May 2018 deadline. We have created a GDPR page on our website that shares information about what we are doing. We’ll keep this page updated over time. You will also want to subscribe to our GDPR mailing list for future updates.

The GDPR affects companies who process the personal data of EU citizens (in this case, Elvanto) and also those who control that data (that’s our customers). I encourage any of our customers affected to look into the GDPR to ensure you have the right processes in place to comply. We’ll do our best to help as we learn more from our own findings.

Have a great week!

Ben

New Minimum Password Requirements [UPDATED]

UPDATE 2: We have released an update where you can now configure your minimum password requirements. Simply head to your¬†Settings page and you’ll now see a¬†Passwords & Security link under¬†Account.¬†We’ve also reverted back to our original minimum password requirements to keep things simple. If you were happy about the new requirements below, feel free to configure your account back to suit. Another addition is that we now have a list of over 400,000 bad passwords that Elvanto will not allow your users to set. This is helpful if you’d prefer not to have strict password requirements. For example, ‘password’ and ‘abcd1234’ are considered bad passwords. If your user tries to use these,¬†we’ll let them know and kindly ask them to create a better password. I’d love to hear your feedback!

UPDATE: We want to help churches have more autonomy over their accounts password complexity. With the varying opinions from security frameworks as to what a secure password is, this can be tricky if we enforce what we think is best. Thanks to feedback, we will be releasing an update soon that will allow you to configure your own password requirements. Stay tuned!

As part of our continuing commitment to improving security, as of today, we have updated our minimum password requirements.

The new minimum password requirements are as follows:

  • Must be at least 10 characters in length
  • Must contain at least 1 digit (0-9)
  • Must contain one upper case character (A-Z)
  • Must contain one lower case character (a-z)
  • Must not contain a character repeated more than twice (aa in your password is fine, aaa is not)

We have taken these requirements from the OWASP Password Complexity recommendations.

Will I need to update my existing password?

No, existing passwords will continue to work fine. If you attempt to change your password though these new requirements will be considered then.

Why don’t you require a special character?

We may update this in the future to include this, but decided that using just 3 complexity requirements was sufficient for now (as covered in the OWASP recommendations).

10 characters is long, how will I remember that!?

We strongly recommend using a password manager. These will remember your passwords for you and help generate better passwords in the long run.

When will these requirements take effect?

They are live as of right now.

Will we be able to disable these requirements for our account?

No. Security in this day and age is more important than ever so we hope that you see this change as a positive, not a negative as we continue to enhance our security.

When will you offer multi-factor authentication?

We plan to add this in the not too distant future to help take security to another level. We will give you greater control over this allowing you not to require it for some and to force it on others depending on their access.

Upcoming Security Enhancements

Hi everyone!

We have recently had some specialised security testing done and, based on recommendations, we are making some improvements to our security.

Ensuring the privacy and security of your data is of utmost importance to us and we are always looking to ensure we are using the latest security standards available to keep your data safe.

Whilst most of these enhancements are behind the scenes and will be invisible to users, browsers that do not support the modern security protocols will no longer be supported.

On Tuesday, 3rd of October, these protocols will come into effect and these browsers may no longer be able to access Elvanto:

  • Chrome 30 and below
  • Firefox 27 and below
  • Internet Explorer 9 and below
  • Internet Explorer 10 (May be enabled with configuration)
  • Safari (macOS) 6 and below
  • Safari (iOS) 4 and below

At the time of writing, less than 1% of your users will be affected in any way by these changes, and those that are can swap to Chrome or Firefox moving forward!
We just love to keep you informed and minimise your impact as much as possible.

If you are unsure what your options are, please get in touch with us at support@elvanto.com, we would love to help!

Have a great weekend,
Aaron