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Criminals Using “Blended” Security Threats to Attack Credit Unions
Monday, May 6, 2013 6:25 AM

In the May issue of Credit Union Magazine, an article authored by the Credit Union National Association’s BITS Liaison Task Force warns of  potential security threats against credit unions that combine new and old risks, which the Task Force refers to as “blended threats.”

According to the article, criminals are now attacking their victims with a combination of strategies, including malware, phishing and sophisticated social engineering (manipulating people into divulging confidential information) to overcome credit unions’ defense strategies and access data.

Because these criminals are combining fraud with digital, physical and business avenues, safeguarding accounts, systems and sensitive information has become a burden in itself.

The Task Force states that these attacks are effective “because many audit processes lag behind in detecting gaps that stretch across various departments.” So what can credit unions do to protect their data?

According to the Task Force, there are a number of ways that different departments within the credit union can come together to combat these threats. First, credit unions should improve their data visibility across multiple sources, which will in turn enable greater identity capabilities and increase the chance of effectively addressing and discovering gaps in the system. From there, various teams can work together to create and incorporate strong security measures to lessen the risk of exposure.

The Task Force adds that there are a number of ways different teams can work together as a unit to reduce the chances of falling victim to these threats.

“Some might consolidate risk groups under a single management structure, and others might introduce independent audit or risk management groups to look across different areas,” the Task Force says. 

While each credit union might have its own approach to handing the issue, the Task Force says the most critical thing is to communicate with one another and work together to define processes and fill any gaps in the system.