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World Series, Halloween, and Cyber Security Month
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:00 AM

Idrees Rafiq, Jr., AVP IT Consulting, Credit Union Resources

The World Series, Halloween, and Cyber Security Month have all been nail-biting and scary. The good news is that they will be over soon; the bad news is that cybersecurity will continue to plague our credit union industry.

With the Equifax breach (what the Astro’s Altuve is to the Dodgers), Heathrow airport’s security plans found on a USB,  and  9K computer zombies used to attack Skype, Google, and Pokémon to name a few, we will continue to see cyber threats. I had a conversation recently about the other observations that are taking place in October, such as AIDS Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, National Domestic Violence Awareness, National Pretzel Month, and National Stamp Collecting Month. What is the message we want to get out to our credit unions?

My answer is to show those who are still in doubt that cyber threats are real, it will happen, and that collaboration in our industry is imperative. E-Commerce fraud loss has already reached $57.8 billion. When speaking to credit unions, the sentiment is very similar in that they can’t stay up to date, they don’t have a budget allocated to cybersecurity, and/or they don’t have staffing. Our approach at CU Resources is to leverage what you have to do (i.e., compliance), along with what you should be doing (i.e., best industry practice). When performing mandated risk assessments, we match the credit unions up with solid consultants that know the right advice to give to a credit union given their size, complexity, risk appetite, and budget. We bridge what the regulators want, how they want it, and work with the credit unions to ensure they, too, understand.

Whether this be your first article you’ve read this Cyber Security Month or not, I leave you with this:  No matter the size or complexity, you have a chance! I’ve been spooked by walking into credit unions that don't have a solid anti-virus or patch management system, but after we team up, I have seen them come out the other side a much stronger credit union. With help and support from your peers, having a strong cybersecurity foundation is achievable.

I encourage you to get involved in the Cornerstone Technology Council or reach out to me to see how you can get started with cybersecurity. It doesn’t have to be as nail-biting and scary as it appears to be.