Cybersecurity Tips for Credit Unions

Picture of cyber protection in the online worldFor many credit unions, limited resources make prioritizing cybersecurity enhancements a challenge.

Here are a few simple, efficient, and cost-effective ways to boost your cybersecurity strategy for 2018.

  1. Conduct a cybersecurity quiz with your staff
    Have you ever quizzed your team on cybersecurity threats? A sizable percentage of cyber attacks come as a result of mistakes by uninformed staff. Many credit unions are hiring companies to test their staff’s knowledge of threats, or even performing the tests themselves. These tests may consist of a mock email asking employees to wire money, an email asking them to click on a link from an address that looks like the CEO’s, or to download an attachment from an unknown email.
  2. Check in with you antivirus/antimalware/firewall companies
    Most credit unions have some type of antivirus protection — but that doesn’t mean you should just hope everything is humming along. Be sure to check in on the companies you use to confirm they are still abiding by best practices. Obtain their most recent due-diligence packet. Also keep up to date on who your contacts are in case a situation arises; the IT industry is notorious for high turnover.
  3. Make sure all your websites are protected (even social media)
    It’s easy to remember to keep your company website secure and protected, but don’t forget your blogs and social media platforms. Maybe you have a microsite or blog that is hosted on WordPress. Make sure to check all of the plugins often and keep all widgets up to date. These tools can easily be hacked if the version is out of date, and your entire site can be compromised. Furthermore, routinely check your social media sites — even the ones that are dormant — to make sure your passwords are strong enough and your contact info is correct. Dormant social media profiles are a magnet for hacking. While this may not be as disastrous as a full scale corporate hack or virus, it can destroy your brand and reputation. No one wants to receive a spammed-filled Facebook or Twitter message from their credit union. And for the credit union, it’s a PR disaster.
  1. Protect your company from a mobile hack
    Many employees log in to their company’s email, website, and intranet from their phones, and sometimes we forget mobile phones are vulnerable, too. Be sure to have a cybersecurity mobile plan in place. Talk to your staff about unsecure Wi-Fi, especially when traveling outside the country.

To receive more helpful tips and articles on keeping your credit unions safe and successful, visit the CU Service Network Resources Library.

Interested in learning more about NWCUA’s Strategic Link partnership with CUSN, and the IT Managed and Cyber Security Services they can provide your credit union? Contact Jason Smith, NWCUA’s Vice President, Strategic Resources, at jsmith@nwcua.org.