Are You Vulnerable Against These Credit Union Security Threats?

The financial services industry is one of the top targets of cyber criminals around the globe due to the sensitive and valuable financial data that institutions store. Hackers either commit cyber fraud themselves or sell stolen information to third-parties because of the significant potential for financial gain. What is most troubling is that year by year, cyber criminals commit new and increasingly sophisticated attacks, such as data breaches, malware threats, card breaches and phishing attempts. Take a look at some of the most common security threats that banks and credit unions are exposed to:


 According to the 2019 State Of Malware Report by Malwarebytes, business detections of malware rose a shocking 79% over the last year primarily due to the increase in backdoors, miners, spyware, and information stealers. Once a system is infected, the malware looked for instances where users logged into their bank accounts or provided financial details on a website, stole that data, and then sent it back to the server. It affects both employees and customers of financial institutions nationwide.

Insider Crime

Disgruntled employees or former staff can release valuable security information and compromise your system and data security. Many cyber criminals are also increasing their efforts to bribe employees and entice them give up their login credentials or other valuable user data, allowing them to directly access a financial institution’s internal system.

Insufficient Third-Party Vendor Security

Even if your credit union has the most robust security systems and policies in effect to protect itself and your customers from cyber attacks, your third-party vendors may not have the same level of security. This is why it is crucial that the third-party providers you choose value diligence and security as much as you do. This lack of security creates a significant vulnerability for your credit union and risks compliance issues with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Employees’ Lack Of Security Expertise

One of the most common reasons why data breaches occur is because of social engineering or preying on an employee’s lack of training in cybersecurity. A shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff or limited IT capabilities also hinder proper cyber defense against hackers. Employee training is crucial for credit unions to address vulnerabilities and ensure that staff at all levels understand their responsibilities in protecting the institution. If this knowledge gap isn’t resolved, banks and credit unions will continue to struggle to efficiently handle cybersecurity threats.

IMSI never compromises on cybersecurity — your other third-party vendors shouldn’t either. To sufficiently protect against cyber crime, ensure that all devices on your network have the right firewall protections, updated antivirus software, and that all patches are updated. Building an effective security foundation requires adding preventive, detective and responsive layers to your IT security strategy. Being proactive in protecting your customers’ data is always less costly–in both reputation and finances–than becoming a victim to cyber crime.

Happy Holidays from IMSI!

Happy Holidays!credit union solutions

From all of us at IMSI, we’d like to wish you and yours a happy and joyous holiday season, and the very best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! We are excited for 2019 and are looking forward to working with credit unions nationwide, building exciting and lasting relationships! This time of year can be financially stressful, so we thought we’d share some tips for holiday spending on a budget!

Holiday Spending on a Budget

It doesn’t sound very holly or jolly, the holiday season is a time to mind your money – closely. Purchasing gifts for family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and just maybe yourself, can put more than a dent in your bank account.

Many of us experience buyers remorse after the holidays, once we realize that we have more month left than we do money. It doesn’t have to be that painful, and with a little bit of planning your holidays will be enjoyable and affordable!

Create a Budget

It’s not the most fun part of the holiday season, but it is a very necessary one. Do not set aside bills in favor of gifts. You will regret it come January, and you will spend far too much time trying to catch up. Know exactly what you have to spend, and don’t go over budget. Furthermore, do not break out credit cards to bridge the gap. Your $25 purchase will end up costing far more if you cannot pay it off right away.

Make a List

We aren’t talking a general list of what people want. More if an itemized list that includes the following:

  • Name
  • Gift Idea
  • Maximum to Spend

Prioritize your list. While it would be nice to purchase $25 gift cards to Starbucks for the school bus driver, mailman, and all 6 of your child’s teachers, that’s a quick way to be out of $200. And if you don’t HAVE an extra $200, panic can quickly set in!

IMSI loves credit unionsGo Homemade

When it comes to teachers, tutors, neighbors, and others, you can’t go wrong with a homemade gift. Look at what you enjoy doing, and create something unique and appreciated, such as:

  • Baked goods such as cookies, loaves of bread, or pies
  • Knitted items such as hats, scarves, or mittens
  • A cutting from your garden

It is important to note that when you give the gift of food, make sure you’re aware of any food allergies of recipients. You can also note ingredients on the package, to be safe.

Plan Ahead

While the 2018 holiday season is far from over, you can get a head start on next year. Open a Christmas Club account, create a dedicated savings account, or tuck a little money away with each paycheck.

While it may sound cliche, remember the reason for the season! Spend your holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones – enjoy the time and memories, and don’t be so concerned about the “stuff”. Eat, drink, be merry, and have a wonderful holiday season!

See you in 2019!