As we mentioned before, criminals are always creating new ways to break into financial institutions. More recently, cybercriminals have developed a new “long con”—the “Frankenstein” identity—where they make up an identity (rather than stealing another person’s) and spend years building up a solid credit score.
They’re able to trick lenders by securing a random social security number and pairing that with a made up name, typically from someone without a credit history (or under 18 years old). Then, once those “borrowers” are able to secure loans when they’ve built up their credit score, and then abruptly stop their payments after a few months.
The target could be anyone, including you.
Hackers do what they do for a number of reasons—it’s not always necessarily malicious, but it’s always at your expense. While cybercriminals are often driven by financial gains, hacking can also be a form of protest, espionage, or simply for thrills.
But as a CU, you’re at the mercy of cybercriminals who are becoming more adept at what they do. What was once a shady bedroom activity has manifested as a huge business with an infrastructure with a spectrum of sophisticated, educated hackers who then sell their resources to those with less advanced skills.
Apart from malicious (or simply pleasure-seeking) cybercriminals, other security risks include simple human error and even insider crime. No matter where the security vulnerability comes from, improving security certainly surpasses the cost of damages caused by a breach.
Cybercriminals don’t discriminate when it comes to targeting financial institutions.
Unfortunately, all credit unions can be a target. While you should always remain aware of the trends in cyber crime and those that could affect your institution, it’s important to also ensure that you have the right firewall protections, updated antivirus software, and updated patches.
But a partnership with third-party vendors can also add layers of protection to prevent costly future damages, and those third parties should value security and diligence regarding security risks as highly as you do.
As your third-party vendor, we don’t cut corners—and you shouldn’t assume that you’re safe from cybercrime, either. If you’re ready to learn about how you can ensure continued protection for your members’ data against cybercriminals, let’s talk about your ideal solutions.