For week two of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) will be focusing their energy on phishing attacks. Themed “Phight the Phish!,” the week aims to spread awareness and reduce the risk of phishing attacks on individuals and businesses across the nation. Because credit unions are responsible for guarding both sensitive information and the money of members, it’s important to prepare for phishing attacks and understand how to prevent them and respond appropriately if one occurs.
What are phishing attacks and what can you do?
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased use of digital technology around the country and world. While this has made life more convenient for many people, it also comes with the risk of cyberattacks. One of the most serious types of cyberattacks, and one that is often overlooked, is known as phishing. Phishing, a play on “fishing,” refers to when attackers send emails (the bait) that contain bad links or malicious software that can infect your computer and steal important data or information.
When cybercriminals trick individuals or institutions into infecting their own computers and giving up important personal information like passwords, Social Security numbers and account numbers, the results can be disastrous. Unfortunately, phishing attacks have been on the rise recently. For credit unions who want to keep the money and information of their members secure, it’s critical to understand what phishing is and how you can guard against it.
How to guard against fraud online
Cybercriminals are crafty and often disguise their emails and messages to make them appear like official emails from credit unions, government agencies or other businesses. For the untrained eye, phishing emails can look very real and urgent. That’s why it’s so important that credit unions take the necessary measures to keep your members personal and financial information safe from fraud and cyberattacks.
According to the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), some of the best things credit unions can do to stay safe include:
- Education. Not only should all employees be educated on how to detect fraud and report suspected scams, but credit unions (CUs) should educate their members as well and encourage them to create strong passwords, monitor their accounts daily and report any suspicious activity.
- Limits. By setting daily limits to the number of transactions and the amount of money that can be processed through debit cards, CUs can avoid some risk.
- Passwords. Credit unions should require complex passwords and have multi-step authentication for member accounts.
- Contingency plan. Credit unions should do everything they can to prevent phishing and cyberattacks from occurring. However, if an attack does occur, a contingency plan should be in place and resources should be dedicated to analyzing how it happened and how to prevent future attacks.
Suffering a phishing attack can be frustrating, expensive, and worst of all, you can lose the trust of your members—the backbone of your credit union. One way to prepare for phishing and other types of cyberattacks is by choosing the best credit union core technology to build your digital platform and keep your business protected.
FLEX credit union core technology
As phishing attacks and other cyber security breaches continue to rise in the United States, credit union exposure and vulnerability are rising as well. Not only can FLEX credit union core provider build out a seamless, user-friendly digital platform for your credit union, they offer a multi-layer approach towards repelling malicious cyber attacks from outside of your network. Check out the FLEX Security Services eGuide for more information about FLEX credit union core software and how it can help with your credit union’s cyber security.