Fighting cybersecurity threats is a huge and vital task that credit unions need to take on. Unlike large banks, credit unions don’t have as many resources to protect their assets. That’s why hackers regularly target them. Their small cybersecurity budget leaves them vulnerable. But that doesn’t have to be true. Knowing the basics of cybersecurity and the biggest cybersecurity threats to credit unions will help you protect your confidential information.
Common Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats don’t only affect credit unions. Other small businesses, and even personal devices, can fall victim to an attack on their virtual information. The most common cybersecurity threat is malware. Malware is sneaky software that installs itself onto your system, often without your knowledge. It typically causes your computer system to behave oddly, like deleting files or stealing information.
Biggest Cybersecurity Threats To Credit Unions
While credit unions certainly face malware threats, they’re also more susceptible to other cybersecurity threats specific to financial institutions.
- Credit Card Fraud: Hackers steal billions of dollars from credit card holders every year. They steal customer information and use stolen cards to purchase goods and services without you noticing. Credit unions store card information for all their customers, making unprotected systems a gold mine for hackers looking for cards to steal.
- Need for Cybersecurity Experts: Unfortunately, there aren’t many cybersecurity experts with a deep knowledge of credit unions. Without enough expertise, credit unions will remain vulnerable.
- Sophisticated Ransomware: Malware and ransomware are becoming more and more sophisticated. This high-level software may be harder to detect, allowing hackers to tap into confidential information without being noticed.
- Mule Accounts: A mule account is a fraudulent account set up at a financial institution using stolen identities. Accounts are used to transfer funds to other accounts and eventually into the hands of criminals. Mule accounts are a popular cybersecurity threat to credit unions.
How To Protect A Credit Union From Cyber Attacks
There are a few steps you can take to protect your credit union from cyber attacks. The best thing to do is follow the NIST framework established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NIST framework is meant to help organizations reduce cybersecurity risks. The basics of the framework are to:
- Identify threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to your most important assets.
- Protect devices and sensitive data.
- Detect cybersecurity attacks.
- Respond to cyberattacks efficiently and effectively.
- Recover from a cyber attack and continue building resilience.
Feeling overwhelmed? Shielding your credit union from a cyber attack is a big task! Working with a cybersecurity professional will get you the protection you need without dealing with any of the nitty-gritty.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn More
Avoiding a disruptive cybersecurity attack should be a top priority for every credit union. But small and medium-sized businesses may not have a dedicated cybersecurity officer to help prevent attacks. If that’s the case with your credit union, Mountain Path Solutions can help. We have several outstanding resources, including consultants, virtual CISOs (vCISO), and network security suppliers.
Set up a call with me to review your situation for free and find the right solution — your Path to the Mountain peak.