Defend Your Credit Union Castle From Cyberattacks

Credit unions have embraced technology to enhance their services and streamline operations, but it’s not without cost. While this shift has brought numerous benefits, it has also opened the door to a growing array of cyber threats, according to Chris Gill, Senior Manager of Risk and Compliance Solutions at GoWest Solutions partner TruStage.

Over the years, these threats have evolved. Attackers devise new methods to breach organizations, often by exploiting emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile banking apps. Attacks on third- and fourth-party service providers are also becoming more problematic. Focus on a thorough understanding of vendor relationships, systems, and data sharing, along with a review of their security practices and any history of breaches or compromises.

Litigation and notification are also becoming more complex. Review your current incident response plans and include reporting time frames and requirements for providing notice to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Additionally, consider incorporating clear standards for assessing and identifying reportable incidents, including escalation for notifying credit union management and the NCUA.

Cybersecurity practices have evolved to be more proactive, integrated, and data-driven. Credit unions now employ advanced threat detection tools, AI, and machine learning algorithms to monitor network traffic and identify anomalies in real-time.

Employees, whether intentionally or unintentionally, are often the weakest links in the security chain. Balancing employee freedom with cybersecurity could be a delicate dance. Employees need access to digital tools and data to perform their jobs efficiently, but this access can also pose security risks. More convenience from software tools brings additional threats. This is especially relevant with remote or hybrid work environments.

Today, every employee plays a role in maintaining security. Focus on creating and reinforcing a company culture of safety and security. The entire staff must recognize they each play a critical role in securing the credit union network and protecting its assets.

Establish and enforce progressive education requirements, including:

  • Routine simulated phishing attacks
  • Engaging training for all employees
  • Implementing a “see something, say something” policy
  • Gamification testing methods

Many traditional risk mitigation strategies related to cyber hygiene are still effective, including:

  • Routine risk assessments
  • Access controls based on role
  • Vulnerability testing
  • Inventory of digital assets
  • Education and training
  • Mobile device management

Cyber risks and cybersecurity will continue to change and evolve. By embracing advanced technology, fostering a culture of security, and educating employees effectively, credit unions can navigate this dynamic landscape and help protect their operations, data, and the trust of their members.

Contact your GoWest Solutions team and learn more here about the cybersecurity resources available through TruStage.

Posted in Public Awareness, Top Headlines.