Cybersecurity Threats Credit Unions Face & How to Secure Your Network

Credit Union Cybersecurity Threats

Cyberattacks are one of the greatest threats financial institutions face. The average financial security breach costs approximately $5.97 million. For credit union cybersecurity, this means keeping up to date with the latest cyber solutions is critical to protecting member data and their good name.

On average, financial risk can range from $190,000 for a small to mid-size credit union up to $1.2 million for large credit unions. Assessing potential cyber threats will allow you to adjust your IT infrastructure accordingly.

Below we break down specific threats and what you can do to help mitigate the effects of these.

Dark Web Threats

The Dark Web is a collection of websites where criminals buy, sell or trade a wide variety of items. This can include credit card numbers, identifying health information, bank routing information, and so much more. Cyber security research has found approximately 86% of credit unions have at least one employee’s credentials linked on the Dark Web.

The Dark Web is riddled with stolen credentials and personally identifiable information (PII). When combined with compromised card data from members, malicious threat actors have an increased ability to bypass fraud controls.


Common Dark Web Threats Include:

Account Takeovers:

After a threat actor has obtained credentials, they can breach the inside of your network and steal additional business information. Nothing is stopping them from executing wire fraud, ACH fraud, and so much more. These attacks are difficult to identify since threat actors gain access through legitimate credentials.

Compromised Cards:

Credit Unions face debit and credit card fraud constantly with millions of compromised cards being sold on the Dark Web.

Your IT department will use modern tools, such as Dark Web monitoring, to identify threats and compromised credentials. They will use their knowledge to determine what cybersecurity measures are needed.

Ransomware Cyberattacks

On average, financial businesses can expect to pay an average ransomware recovery cost of approximately $2.1 million. Credit Unions that experience a ransomware attack risk losing member trust, large sums of money, and potential ransom payments to gain access to data. Protecting your business from ransomware must be an ever-evolving strategy because attack tactics change as fast as criminals do.

This means regular threat assessments, proactive maintenance, and recovery solutions must be addressed to build a layered security approach that addresses new weaknesses and emerging attacks.

What Can Credit Unions Do to Reduce Risk?

Cybersecurity must be at the heart of each credit union’s IT infrastructure. Senior leaders must place a high priority on enterprise security solutions to provide the support necessary to fend off sophisticated cyberattacks.

The following are things credit unions can do to reduce risk:

Managed IT + Security Essentials

With managed IT services and security essentials, your business will be protected from IT-related problems, and they will keep your systems up and running. They can mitigate common “disasters” such as lost devices, hardware failures, cyberattacks, and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure and the data it holds.

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Data is the lifeblood of your business. Protecting it should be your first priority. An effective backup and disaster recovery solution will allow you to have peace of mind knowing your data is safe and accessible in the wake of a crisis.

Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management enables your organization to enforce security policies to protect corporate data on mobile devices. This service helps you manage access and security systems, while providing your employees with the tools and access they need to be productive. With complete visibility of your devices, credit unions can remotely configure and deploy security policies in real time.

Governance & Risk Compliance (GRC)

GRC helps manage compliance with the IT requirements of any cyber risk insurance policy, with built-in templates for the largest underwriters. Plus, if you need to create your own IT policy, you can clone existing templates or start from scratch.

Penetration & Vulnerability Scans

Through the combination of monthly internal and external scans and penetration scans, you can identify holes in your security and help find ways to mitigate these security exposures. These scans help businesses identify threats on an ongoing basis at a higher frequency. They satisfy both compliance requirements and security best practices.

SIEM/SOC (24/7 Detection & Response)

Implementing a SIEM/SOC solution will give you access to vulnerability assessments, threat analyses, and an estimated incident response time 24/7.

Your Best Defense

Credit unions must focus on adding new detection and response capabilities to their IT infrastructure to ensure their business is properly preventing attacks and has the tools in place to respond if a breach should occur. Talk with a managed service provider to discuss security solutions.

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