Cyber threats have been on the increase for years, and since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian and now between Israel and Hamas, they’ve gotten a shot in the arm. The attacks have been targeted on the nations involved, as well as their allies like the U.S.
Given that it is also Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we thought we’d break down some terms and preparedness steps to take to boost your credit union’s resiliency in the face of ever-growing cyberattacks.
- We know that we as humans can be the weak link in the cybersecurity chain. One of the biggest problems is password reuse – by both employees and members. According to The Hacker News, 65% of users admit they duplicate passwords regularly, and another study of identity exposures among employees of Fortune 1000 companies found 64% were reusing credentials. And guess what? 80% of data breaches are traced back to lost or stolen passwords. Definitely important to ward of phishing and other schemes.
- Ransomware is a critical issue for the 21st century business and particularly financial institutions entrusted with their customers and members’ hard-earn money and personally identifiable information. Ransomware is a type of malware that will encrypt files and then demand ransom for the decryption. It’s growth and impact make it a powerful one-two gut punch, Data Breach Today reported.
Preparedness, proactive security measures and well-defined incident response plans are crucial, and then adapt to the continuously enhanced tactics of the cybercriminals. CISA.gov advises practicing good data hygiene by conducting regular vulnerability scanning and addressing vulnerabilities. If your credit union falls victim, CISA.gov says to report it to federal law enforcement via IC3 or a local field office of the Secret Service. And don’t dare to not report a breach, as former Uber Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan learned earlier this month when he was convicted for “actively hiding a data breach from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and concealing a felony,” Wired reported.
- Being ready and up-to-date on the latest trends in cybersecurity is a significant part of the battle to ensure not only disaster recovery should your systems be breached, but also business continuity so your credit union can continue serving members with minimal interruption.
- Consider converting to a hybrid (combined on-prem and cloud-based model) or fully in the cloud. Cloud providers can complement your credit union’s internal IT team with specialists who do nothing but tech to support security. Most credit unions can’t afford that level of expertise in-house. The cloud also backs up your data in near-real time, so your credit union can continue serving members. No servers to replace or time-consuming patching.
- And of course, credit unions – whether at fault for a breach, or much more commonly, members’ card data breaches at retailers – should be ready to clearly and consistently communicate with members and the media, temporarily staff up or outsource your call center and consider cybersecurity insurance. Be sure to keep the board and your business partners well-informed as well.
Today’s cybersecurity environment is scary – and expensive, including technology, talent and treasure. Let Prodigy do some of the heavy lifting for you. Moving your IT infrastructure to Prodigy’s secure, private cloud shifts the technology burden from your credit union to our skilled experts. Virtualizing your servers in redundant data centers with us eliminates all the costs associated with maintaining and replacing servers, Microsoft server licensing, patching, backups, disaster recovery and more. Your IT staff will have more time to help serve your members better and grow your credit union.