THE WORKS Blog, Credit Union Compliance News & Views

      Cybersecurity: The Biggest Threat to Credit Unions and Their Members

      By Mark Boehm · Jun 11, 2019

      The financial services industry is changing, and quickly. From new technology to increased regulation, credit unions are experiencing the effects of these changes each day.AdobeStock_36589448 (pointing fingers)

      On top of that, credit unions are facing threats now that didn’t exist just a few years ago. Cyberattacks have become a huge threat. The risks associated with cyber incidents are significant and can leave your credit union with huge problems.

      These attacks can be costly, resource intensive, and damaging to your credit union’s reputation. A recent study found that the average cost of losing control of your network is $40,000 per hour, a massive hit for even the largest credit union. Additionally, credit unions that experience data breaches lose an average of 12 percent of their members.

      Cybersecurity defenses are an important aspect of compliance. NCUA has rated cybersecurity as the top supervisory priority for audits in four out of the past five years. This emphasis will only heighten as cyberattacks become more complex and harder to prevent.

      In our recent cybersecurity webinar, BrightWise Chief Operating Officer Corey Skadburg detailed the most common security threats credit unions face as hackers seek the information you want to protect. While the logistics behind each of these attacks are important, it is more critical that employees and members know how to detect these threats.

      While there is no foolproof way to prevent cyberattacks, you can be proactive and stay ahead of hackers to minimize the threats. This applies to both employees and members. Employees need to be aware of the types of attacks that are out there to help them recognize security threats. Members need to understand how you communicate with them so they can detect a fake email, for instance.

      Most cybersecurity incidents occur because employees are unaware of potential threats and risks and don’t think before they click. Skadburg cautioned that training once a year is not enough to keep up with growing threats. Employees need to be trained monthly or quarterly in engaging, interactive sessions. By making cybersecurity awareness part of your credit union’s culture, employees will remain more aware of potential threats and risks.

      Members also play a critical role in maintaining security standards. Credit unions can warn members with information regarding potential attacks and scams in addition to helping them understand how to differentiate a legitimate from a fraudulent message. By working with your members and employees, you can create a culture of cybersecurity awareness.

      That makes it even more important to address cybersecurity threats and mitigate risks. With the proper training and protections in place, credit unions can keep their important data out of the hands of hackers.

      To find out more about how your credit union can stay proactive in minimizing cybersecurity threats, watch our webinar.

      Cybersecurity Webinar Blog Recap