Credit Unions’ Best Disaster Defense Is a Good Offense

July 16, 2021

Credit union business continuity and disaster recovery planning takes time, effort and money – resources credit unions are short on these days. 

But it’s not just credit unions. A recent article from Security Magazine reported that just 54% –barely half – of companies have plans in place. That’s a dangerous proposition for any company, but especially financial institutions and particularly credit unions, which have worked for a century to earn members’ long-term trust.

During our recent webinar, Trends in Credit Union Data ManagementWescom Resources Group President David Cerwinski explained that the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to climb. He pointed to an example of a New Jersey bank that was hacked by a group calling itself Avaddon, which held the bank’s systems for ransom. Midway through the ransomware attack, the hackers backed off for reasons unknown. This attack could have been much worse, but the fact that it happened proves that all business, including credit unions, need to address the problem before it becomes a major issue.

To protect your credit union from cyberthreats, Alex Munro, CIO at Wescom Credit Union, advised those responsible for credit union business continuity and disaster recovery keep in mind:

Prevention: Ensure all your credit union’s cybersecurity software and firewalls are up to date. Additional employee training may also be necessary to avoid potential threats due to human error.

Detection: Being able to quickly detect an attack is paramount. Consider getting some software that detects rate of change, so if anything unusual happens you’ll know right away.

Mitigation: If a hacker is still able to get past your defenses, the next step is to mitigate damage. One option Munro discussed was immutable copy software, which is a static and pristine copy of your credit union’s data that can never be changed or removed. 

Recovery: Once the attack has passed, your credit union can begin steps to recovery. It’s a good idea to have cybersecurity insurance, and don’t be afraid to have professionals review your IT systems and get them back online.

Return To BAU: Business As Usual serving members.

Andy Tripp, TTCU CIO, is “shifting our keeping-the-lights-on mentality to partnering with the business to drive our strategic initiatives.” WRG has been a valuable partner in that, providing the managed core services TTCU requires without the internal resources. “We were hampered by what the core can’t do,” he explained, “and we converted to a modern core.”

As part of its conversion to Corelation, TTCU selected WRG for its credit union-specific knowledge in addition to the day-to-day tech expertise. “Our time up has increase. Our back and failover capabilities have increased. Our security around the core has increased and morale increased.” Ultimately, TTCU is saving 15 hours each week to focus on improving member service and moving TTCU’s business forward with credit union business continuity planning and protection off the team’s plate.

Want to learn more? Contact Kerry at kschiappa@wescomresources.com today!