Is Your Remote Workforce Making Your Credit Union’s Data Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
October 6, 2020
Editor’s Note: Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union provides cooperative financial services to 1,400 member credit unions and credit union entities nationally. Together, the member-owners of Alloya wield aggregated power to gain access to affordable, comprehensive products and services – including transactions, liquidity and investments – to give each credit union a strategic advantage in the marketplace. Below, Alloya shares insight on how credit unions can safeguard their digital devices, products, and services as remote workforces become standard.
In the past few months, credit unions have made significant changes to serve their members when they needed it most. Like many organizations early on during the pandemic, most credit unions shifted branch staff from working in-office to remote operations. This unexpected change opened the doors of opportunity for scammers looking to capitalize among the chaos, and cybercrimes skyrocketed.
Looking to 2021, it’s clear remote work isn’t going anywhere, and it’s critical that credit unions reevaluate their cybersecurity posture often to ensure they remain as secure as possible. By conducting regular risk assessments, credit unions are able to answer these key questions and make adjustments accordingly:
- Are any employees using unsecure devices?
- Are current VPN capabilities sufficient?
- Have unnecessary privileges been revoked?
Is there visibility into remote users and workstations?
Social distancing measures were recommended to ensure that individuals remain safe from COVID-19. The same concept can be applied to a credit union’s digital presence. “Digital distancing” can help keep computing assets from being infected and from infecting others. Think of it like this:
- A network or host-based firewall serves as a technological face mask;
- Validating patches and vulnerabilities before allowing a device to enter the network serves as a temperature check;
- Quarantining assets with critical vulnerabilities until patched serves as a 14-day quarantine; and
- Keeping systems healthy by only connecting to known networks and using a VPN serves as social digital distancing!
While the pandemic presents significant challenges, the digital lessons credit unions are learning now should help ensure they are prepared for whatever may come next.