Cybersecurity and Credit Unions in 2020

Written by Devon Wilson

November 22, 2019

Since 2016, the cost of cybercrime has increased by over 40 percent. As hackers and criminals develop more robust methods of breaching security, it’s certain that cybercrime is likely to only amplify in the future years.

Data breach risks are at an all-time high in the financial services industry. General consumers are all-too-familiar with the common email notices from a variety of companies that let consumers know that their personal information has been breached. In past years, Equifax, Target, Yahoo, and a slew of other companies have seen highly publicized data breaches that cost reputations and a heap of money.

With criminals constantly developing with new methods for breaching security, the likelihood of it happening to your CU is too great to ignore. Many CUs don’t realize they are not spending the resources they should when it comes to security.

Here are the potential security risks for credit unions in 2020. 

Malware and ransomware remain two of the top security risks in 2019, which is likely to continue in 2020. In fact, 69% of organizations breached as reported in the Global Data Exposure Report stated their breach was due to an insider threat, though they did have defense mechanisms in place at the time of the breach. As cybercrime grows, hacking methods become more powerful against these defense systems.

Ransomware is a software created and implemented by cybercriminals that prevent companies from accessing their data or systems. By holding this information to a ransom, cybercriminals will continue to delete other areas of data or spread the ransomware to other systems. The Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services team reported a 105 percent spike in ransomware attacks against clients in the first quarter of 2019.

Human error is a major culprit, too. 

As in 2018, employees still remain one of the top reasons for data breaches. This is true for current and former employees. A lack of training can often create security risks, or an employee exiting the company may bring valuable information with them upon leaving. Criminals have been known to bribe unhappy employees, who can then turn over sensitive information. This has proven one of the most successful ways to access a company’s information.

A lack of security controls that can appropriately detect and respond can also be the reason behind breaches. When companies require employees to manually detect those security gaps, this increases the chance of a breach. Those working in the financial services industry can’t ignore the enormous risk of this very common security threat

The cost of improved security greatly outweighs the far higher cost of remedying the countless issues caused by becoming a victim of cyber crime. You can’t put a price tag on the damages to your reputation caused by public data breaches.

Be Proactive.

By ensuring that your devices have the following, you’ll be protecting yourself against cybercrime:

  • Updated antivirus software
  • Updated patches
  • Correct firewall protections
  • A sufficient third-party security vendor

Don’t assume you are safe from cybercrime. With IMSI, we don’t cut corners on your cybersecurity. Build the layers of your security foundation and ensure your safety and protection of your members with us. If you’re ready to talk about how you can step up and improve your cybersecurity systems, get in touch. Shoot us a message.

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