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Product Updates
Product Updates

Product Update: August 2020

David Simpson
August 1, 2020

       Here's your regular product update coming to you straight from the Beacon Engineering team.

       Ongoing Security Improvements

With last week's news that Blackbaud has suffered a major data breach that has affected many organisations including The National Trust (no less), I wanted to talk about the ongoing work we are doing at Beacon to keep your data secure.

It is no exaggeration to say that keeping your data secure is the most important thing we do at Beacon.  You can find our more on our trust page.

Beacon is a very modern system and by being a newer organisation we don't have a lot of legacy code with security vulnerabilities lying around.  But we must not be complacent, and in recent weeks we've made a few interesting improvements to our systems to make Beacon even more secure.  

We have upgraded all of our internal authentication systems to use JWT.  We've added even stronger restrictions on our systems to prevent any programatic requests to our production infrastructure from non-production accounts.  This means that even if our development environment is compromised, your data is safe. We have also improved our alerting procedures so that our various security tools work in beautiful harmony with one another. We use state-of-the-art security software like Amazon Guard Duty and Castle to monitor our systems and protect your data.

The one thing you can do today to make your data more secure? Make sure everyone in your organisation has two-factor authentication set up.  Beacon has had two-factor authentication built into the core platform right from day one, and it's always my first recommendation for improving any customer's security.

       Standing Order Automation

We've created a new system to make it easier to manage standing orders that your supporters send you.

Beacon now makes it easy to keep track of your standing orders, and to reconcile expected payments against your bank statements.

You can read the full documentation here.

       Import Mapping Auto-Complete

We've added an auto-complete to imports to make setting up templates a breeze!

Screen Recording 2020-07-30 at 11.55 am

       Sort Records in Related Record Cards

You can now sort List of Related Record cards to show the most important information at the top.  Show the most recent payments from a donor first, or the related tasks with the soonest due dates.

Screen Recording 2020-07-30 at 12.19 pm

More info here.

       Farewell Reports.  Hello Charts!

You may have already noticed that we've changed the name of Beacon's 'Reports' feature to 'Charts'.  Reporting means different things to different people and we think that the new name makes the functionality of this feature way clearer.  All of your old reports will still work - they're just called charts now!

       Up next...

Next month we'll be making the way that we handle contact preferences more flexible and releasing a big update to Workflows to make more powerful automations possible.  We'll also be starting work on Beacon's ticketing system.