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Cybersecurity Poses Multifaceted Challenges to the CU Industry
Friday, June 3, 2016 6:30 AM


New Filene Report Highlights Proactive Responses

A new report from the Filene Research Institute, “Cybersecurity: Credit Unions in the Crosshairs,” addresses one of the financial industry’s most vexing challenges: data loss and theft.

“Every financial institution is vulnerable to data loss,” said Ben Rogers, managing director of research for Filene. “There is not a fool-proof solution, but there are steps credit unions should take to minimize the likelihood of a debilitating breach.” 

Credit unions know they need to pay additional attention to data loss and theft. But the fast-moving nature of the risks, the costs associated with managing them and the shortage of available talent can be overwhelming. The report recaps valuable insights into data loss and theft as shared by respected security experts from the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), CUNA Mutual Group, law firm BakerHostetler and credit unions like Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU). 

According to John Carlson, chief of staff at FS-ISAC, an immediate proactive step financial institutions should take is to actively collaborate and understand where threats are coming from in order to protect sensitive data. “Information sharing is essential in the fight against cybercrime,” said Carlson. The NCUA, he added, recommends that credit unions understand recent threats and viable solutions. 

Cyber threats come in many forms, especially as an increasing number of insiders and vendors access sensitive personal information and hackers become more sophisticated. On average, hackers with administrator credentials aren’t discovered in a network for seven months. Having the appropriate people, processes and tools are crucial components of a sound cybersecurity governance structure. For instance, the study outlines how credit unions should approach defensive layering, staff training, data governance and cyber insurance.

Download the report, “Cybersecurity: Credit Unions in the Crosshairs,” sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group.

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is U.S.-based independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded more than 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 2,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible. For more information, please visit and @fileneresearch.