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CU Resources IT Consultant Idrees Rafiq Elected to New National Org Geared to CU Info Sharing
Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:50 AM

Idrees Rafiq

One of the biggest challenges facing financial institutions is cybersecurity, so to advance credit union-specific cyber resilience, a collaborative partnership of credit union peers has established the National Credit Union Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (NCU-ISAO). In October 2016, NCU-ISAO's board of directors elected Idrees Rafiq, Jr. to a seat in the boardroom.

Rafiq is the AVP of IT consulting in the Financial Technology Resources area of Credit Union Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cornerstone Credit Union League. His unique experience with small and medium-sized credit unions makes him a great fit for the NCU-ISAO, which already addresses the needs of many credit unions with assets over $1 billion.

"I'm thrilled to be part of the NCU-ISAO, a new national organization whose mission is to serve the cybersecurity and information-sharing needs of credit unions," says Rafiq. "After so many years of working and collaborating with Cornerstone credit unions, I feel a kinship with all. I'm dedicated to credit unions succeeding, and the NCU-ISAO shares my conviction and belief in the cause."

The mission of the NCU-ISAO, per its website, is to enable and sustain credit union critical infrastructure cyber resilience and preserve the public trust by advancing trusted security coordination and collaboration to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from threats and vulnerabilities.

"Part of my personal mission as a director on the executive leadership board is to make sure the needs of small and medium-sized credit unions have a prominent place in the discussion," Rafiq says.

The NCU-ISAO got its start when the National Credit Union Administration saw a lack of collaboration among credit unions. As a result, a group of credit union peers began working with experts from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the former head of the National Health ISAC, and respected CISOs for solutions. From that, the NCU-ISAO was born.

The group has been collaborating with the NCUA to design a program that meets the needs of all credit unions. "The information-sharing aspect of the program is expected to be an NCUA compliance component for credit unions beginning in June 2017, so an affordable pricing model is currently being constructed that will appeal to small and medium-sized credit unions," Rafiq says.

Since his onboarding with Credit Union Resources in 2004, Rafiq has specialized in leveraging IT and security-related issues with compliance, marketing, vendor management, business continuity, and other business operations specific to credit unions ranging from $2 million to over a billion dollars in assets. As part of his service to Cornerstone-affiliated credit unions, Rafiq provides information technology auditing, security, policy development, risk assessments, and compliance consulting.

Rafiq is also experienced in network architecture, infrastructure, administration, management, and support. He serves as the league liaison on the CUNA IT Council’s Executive Committee and Cornerstone Credit Union League IT Council’s Executive Committee, and on the Southwest CUNA Management School faculty.

He earned his MBA in management from Our Lady of the Lake University and graduated Delta Mu Delta with the International Business Honor Society. He also holds a BAAS and a Bachelor of Business Management from Howard Payne University.

The NCU-ISAO's inaugural conference will take place Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and will feature speakers from the NCUA, the DHS, and the FBI, as well as leading IT professionals. The conference is open to all credit union IT professionals.

About Credit Union Resources, Inc.
Credit Union Resources is a service corporation that provides industry-leading solutions and expertise to credit unions across the country. Credit Union Resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, a regional trade association representing the interests of credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.