Many Credit Unions Are Missing This Crucial First Step to Cybersecurity

You’ve probably never encountered a major security breach within your company, but that doesn’t mean that hackers don’t already have your sensitive information on the dark web.

Chances are, there are details about your company and its employees sitting in databases on hidden websites not accessible to ordinary computer users. 

This information is just waiting for the right buyer to name the right price and could consist of the following:

  • usernames and passwords
  • internal email addresses
  • employee social security numbers
  • financial credentials 

What steps has your business taken to ensure that this isn’t your company’s reality?

According to Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution:

“There has never been a more important time for organizations to be equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to try to prevent and respond to a data breach.”

Experian discovered a major data breach on July 29, 2017 that had been going on for several months without the company’s awareness. That attack wasn’t the first and proceeding cyber attacks confirmed that it would not be the last.

On July 19, 2019, Capital One discovered that the credit applications of 100 million Americans & 6 million Canadians had been compromised. Those records included credit applications submitted from 2005 through 2019.

The cyberattacks on financial institutions predictably continued into 2020 with Fifth Third Bank’s involvement in a “fraud ring” that compromised personal data of 100 customers. While admittedly not as high profile as the former examples, the problem in all cases is clear.

Each institution was forced into a reactive response that might have been avoided with heightened proactivity.

Equifax bungled its attempt to inform and protect compromised customers with a poorly functioning crisis resolution site and ill-planned responses. This was an additional hit to their credibility.

Capital One’s reaction was better organized. They contacted account owners involved in their data breach by mail within several weeks of the discovery.  No doubt this presented a tremendous drain of resources needed to correspond with affected customers. 

Similarly, when Bank of America discovered the breach on Paycheck Protection Program applicant data, they offered customers affected a free two-year identity theft protection membership through Experian. They also encouraged their clients to follow safety tips like close account monitoring for at least the next year.  

The costs may have been different in each scenario, but loss was unavoidable. The best way to avoid similar turmoil within your business is to take a proactive response to security.

It’s difficult to be certain of when there are so many entry points accessible to the right hacker. A 2019 Global Data Risk report published by Varonis Data Lab found that individual employees have an access to an average of 17 million files and 1.21 million folders.

Without strong security infrastructure in place, your company may be vulnerable to attack. There were 1,473 data breaches in 2019 and more than 164 million records exposed.

Address your company’s security proactively. Schedule a free dark web scan today to ensure that you and your customers aren’t the victim of the next data breach.