In our recent Blog Post “2021 Technology Trends - What’s in your Strategic Plan?”, listed were several considerations that should be at or near the top of every credit union’s budget for 2021. During the past year, efforts were largely focused on transitioning to a remote workforce while making steps to bolster digital solutions offered to members. As the industry moves forward in continuing with this digital transformation a primary concern that needs to remain up front of every decision is ensuring the security of member data.

According to a recent study by Juniper Research, it is anticipated that there will be a 70% increase in cyber-related crimes by the year 2024. With this in mind, credit unions will need to find a balance between providing their members with the latest and greatest digital solutions and protecting member data. The costs of building an effective IT Security program can certainly be daunting, however they can pale in comparison to the costs associated with a malicious cyberattack. Below are just a few initiatives to get started building a more effective security program:

Establish partnerships with third-party providers that have the experience and scale to help mitigate risk
For most credit unions, hiring their own IT Security professionals and providing ongoing training simply isn’t affordable. There are many third-party providers that understand your concerns and can provide the expertise, tools and industry knowledge to mitigate risk.

Complete an IT Risk Assessment
A comprehensive risk assessment is critical in identifying risk that you may not even realize exists. Ensure that each business function is identified and potential level of risk is evaluated. IT Security Policies and procedures are then established based on the level of risk identified.

Move to the Cloud
Moving Core Processing Systems and other applications to the cloud provides many benefits including cost savings, enhanced disaster recovery, better collaboration among users and significantly improved data security.

Step up your Cyber Security Training
Security awareness training for your staff is the most cost-effective way to mitigate risk of breaches and incidents. It is estimated that 32% of all breaches involve some form of phishing attempt. With more staff working remotely it is more important than ever before to provide staff with ongoing training.

By some estimates, up to 30% of the workforce will be working-from home at-least two days per week by the end of 2021. Hackers are opportunistic and over the past few months, many companies have had to quickly transition from a traditional in-person office to and hackers are now using this shift in remote work to prey on unsuspecting and unsecured devices making IT Security more important than ever. As John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems, once said, “There are only 2 types of companies: those that have been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked yet.”

Sharetec Systems is a leader in new core system installations over the last ten years and is one of the top selling credit union software packages with over 250 credit unions using our products every day. Sharetec offers a Tier III Data Center, designed to lower your initial investment and provide you with peace of mind.