The threat from cybercriminals is real, and credit unions must be on the constant lookout for potential breaches. These institutions are very vulnerable to cyber attacks because of their smaller size, and don't always have the IT infrastructure and resources to thwart cyber attacks like their larger counterparts, according to a new 2016 Beazley Breach Response Insights report.
"You're being tested every day, whether you realize it or not," said David Luchtel, Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Operations at WSECU, according to Credit Union Times.
"Credit unions may not always have the IT infrastructure and resources to thwart cyberattacks."
Earlier this year, Filene Research Institute summoned cybersecurity experts to talk about some of their greatest challenges when trying to protect credit unions. Alongside hackers, it also listed employees and vendors as two of the most pressing challenges.
- Hackers: As you probably expect, hackers are what keep credit union executives and IT professionals up at night - at least for most of this year. In a 2016 report, Beazley Breach Response, which manages 955 breaches, reported that a whopping 81 percent of its malware and hacking breaches were against credit unions and banks with less than $35 million in annual revenue.
- Vendors: What happens when information leaves the credit union? Ben Rogers, managing director of Filene Research Institute and writing for Credit Union Times, told a story about a vendor that shared personal customer information with another vendor. This breach affected roughly 67,000 members!
- Employees: Human error is a major concern for credit unions. Credit unions must hire trustworthy, experienced professionals that can defend networks against cyber attacks and protect their customers' information.
Along with critical security controls instiutions should follow for security best practices and compliance regulations, such as FFIEC, GLBA, PCI DSS, SOX, they should also focus on better protecting themselves by focusing on hackers, vendors, and employees. These are great starting points for unions that would like to improve their IT security.
It's critical that credit unions consistently assess their cybersecurity infrastructures to identify weak points and gaps that need to be filled. From there, IT managers must collaborate with their staff to ensure they fully understand how to manage new threats.
And remember, it's not all about trying to stop breaches! It's next to impossible to prevent them all, so it's crucial that IT managers also instruct their employees on what to do if a breach does occur.
Security monitoring is a constantly evolving practice that credit unions must stay updated on. Not doing so could result in the loss of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, as well as irreversible public relations damage.
How You Can Gain Peace of Mind
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With all the challenges you face today while trying to keep your organization safe, having the best IT security solutions in your corner should not be one of them. Request a demo today to see how quickly and affordably you can improve your security and compliance posture with EiQ.