Three Cybersecurity Tips for Credit Unions in a COVID World

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Paroon Chadha Photo
Co-Founder and CEO

2 minutes

Key action steps to protect video meetings, email and file sharing

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, credit unions everywhere rolled out business disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Alongside drive-thru services and social distancing, credit unions implemented cybersecurity policies to maintain data integrity and safeguard customer data. States and municipalities are now beginning to lift stay-at-home mandates, but credit union employees who can work from home are still being encouraged to do so. This will continue to put cybersecurity in the spotlight.

After all, the pandemic might have changed working conditions, but that didn’t stop cyber criminals from trying to take advantage. Phishing attempts have increased almost 350%. Banking trojans have returned, and the instant transition to remote work resulted in a slew of new vulnerabilities overnight. While a complete security overhaul might be a bit much to ask of overextended IT departments, these tips can help maintain your cybersecurity and keep from being exploited.

1. Video Conferencing

It’s very likely that you’ve seen videos of users falling for so-called “Zoombombing” meeting traps. This is easily preventable. Most of the popular web conferencing tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting and WebEx have beefed up their privacy and security features. Be sure to review them before holding a sensitive virtual meeting.

Additionally, we recommend that all virtual meetings use passwords, new rooms with dynamic IDs instead of static personal meeting rooms and waiting room functionality, so the host has to give attendees permission to join.

2. Email

When any organization goes through a massive digital transformation—such as when most of its workforce starts working from home—a deep dive into email best practices is always a good idea.

The endless helpful tips for better email security don’t help your credit union if your IT department keeps these ideas to themselves. Most of the tips seem to be common knowledge, but everyone can always use a refresher on best practices, such as how to handle a phishing email, how to identify a phony email address or how to check the safety of clicking a particular link. Not only do sharing best practices increase in-house knowledge, but they also help foster positive behavior from your workforce.

3. File Sharing

For all credit unions, managing file access is key to protecting your institution from cyber theft. Most organizations are inconsistent in the way folders are named and structured, and old directories are often forgotten when adopting new folder structures. While this may not be a problem with locally managed files, it can become a major problem when those structures are shared, and files are passed around. A standardized file structure is the best way to not only organize files, but also make sure none are misplaced. 

Paroon Chadha co-founded Passageways in 2003 and continues to lead its business strategy as CEO. He serves on boards at Passageways, Big Brother Big Sister of Greater Lafayette, Indiana University Simon Cancer Center and TechPoint. He is also an angel investor in several technology companies. Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the possible cybersecurity considerations? Board management software can offer cybersecurity protections in one simple, secure, turnkey solution. Not sure what you need to look for in a board portal or where to start? This board management software buyer’s guide should help!

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