3 CyberSecurity Issues That Credit Unions Need To Watch Out For

Is secure disaster recovery one of your credit union’s priorities this year? Now more than ever, financial institutions should place higher importance on resilience after cybersecurity incidents, IT failures and severe weather events.

The majority of the context for disaster recovery planning involves the types of disasters your credit union wants to defend against. Previously, we would see IT outages, power failures and natural disasters as the top three threats to watch out for. However, over the past few years, the likelihood of a cyberattack occurring is more dominant than anything else on the list. This is why secure disaster recovery should be a priority.

While they almost feel equally disastrous, blackouts and floods aren’t on the same level as cyber criminals who are proactively looking for ways to breach your credit union’s defenses. Criminal organizations have been increasing the frequency of their attacks, their use of automation tools, and improving their social engineering tactics to raise their chances of successfully attacking certain industries and organizations.

Data breaches and disaster recovery planning go together. Cyber criminal groups are extremely aware of the security measures that vendors are implementing. Take a look at 3 cybersecurity issues that should drive your credit union to prioritize disaster recovery:

  • Ransomware

Unfortunately, this type of attack is stronger than ever, especially in the credit union industry. According to the Beazley Breach Response Services team, the number of ransomware attacks ballooned in the first quarter of 2019, reporting an increase of 105% in the number of attacks against clients compared to last year.

Hackers are also doubling down by implementing ways to stop IT departments from recovering by either incorporating a “ransomware attack loop” or compromising your backups. This technique is specifically designed to attack your credit union’s ability to recover. 

  • Compliance

More and more compliance laws are taking effect and your credit union needs to act now. GDPR and the Ohio Data Protection Act are currently in effect, while the California Consumer Privacy Act follows next year.

These laws work to protect customer privacy and require similar protection around the integrity and security of their data. This directly affects your disaster recovery strategy around making sure that you can restore security and the data itself back to a usable state.

  • Island hopping (targeted attacks)

This advanced technique involves cyber criminals gaining access and control over systems, user emails and accounts in one organization to be used to commit data theft, fraud and other crimes in another company. For most cases, hackers create entirely new accounts and separate emails as part of their strategy. So even if your credit union is not the target victim of a group, the cleanup involved after being part of a data breach includes securely returning the company’s data and systems to its right state.

Compliance standards and cyberattacks require organizations to plan well in advance for these types of disasters. IMS’ Disaster Recovery services ensure that in the event of any unforseen event, your credit union will be able to quickly resume operations. 

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