How to Strengthen Your Credit Union’s Cybersecurity Program

If you go to National Administration of Credit Unions (NCUA), the title of the main page reads: “Current geopolitical events increase the likelihood of imminent cyberattacks against financial institutions.”

If you click on it, they explain that the NCUA, CISA, FBI, and NSA are encouraging “credit unions of all sizes and their nationwide cybersecurity teams to adopt a heightened state of awareness and conduct a hunt proactive to threats”.

General global unrest and an increase in cyberattacks resulting from the war in Ukraine prompted these warnings. This is a red flag for credit unions to take steps to reduce the likelihood and impact of a potential cyberattack.

After all, credit unions are lucrative targets, and being nonprofit organizations with limited security budgets, they are also considered easy. Cyberattacks against these financial institutions lead to significant financial losses or, worse, loss of customer trust and tarnished reputation. – It’s time to act.

Let’s look at some suggestions on how teams can take smart security measures to put their cybersecurity investments to good use and reduce cyber risk.

Centralize your cybersecurity monitoring

Years ago, in an effort to address growing cyber threats, IT security teams around the world tended to implement point solutions to address individual security issues. And it worked for a while.

However, as hackers became more sophisticated, the amount of data, applications and connected devices increased and networks grew. siled systems themselves were a threat. The lack of visibility resulted in fragmented views of the security incidents that were occurring, which could lead to a breach.

Alternatively, a centralized cybersecurity platform can offer real-time information about potential breaches, saving valuable time and resources needed to contain a threat.

Our client, First financial bank, have moved from siled to centralized cybersecurity systems, and they now understand their threat environment. They know what security incidents are happening, what to prioritize and how to respond.

Shortly after implementing a centralized approach, two security incidents were detected and quickly corrected. They were:

  • An alert that two branch router cooling fans were about to fail. The fans were repaired before a failure occurred.
  • Discovery of a brute force attack on a privileged user account.

Both of these incidents could have been devastating, but with a centralized view, they were neutralized.

Adopt a User Entity Behavior Analysis (UEBA) solution

EUBA uses machine learning and analytics to model user behavior on enterprise networks, providing essential visibility to uncover user-based threats that might otherwise go undetected. It is a must-have not only for credit unions, but also for all organizations.

the Verizon Business Data Breach Investigation Report 2021 tells us that:

  • In the finance and insurance industries, 83% of the data compromised in breaches was personal data.
  • 85% of all breaches involved a human element.

If you want to learn more about some of the more egregious attacks, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Project created the Chronology of cyber incidents involving financial institutions database to understand the level of data breaches. You will learn that an increasing number of cyberattacks involve the hijacking of user accounts.

Instead of directly attacking the network itself, targeting specific users is often a more accessible gateway. UEBA can protect you against these threats by exposing abnormal and alarming user behavior, so your team can respond quickly.

UEBA empowers your team to expose insider threats, compromised accounts, privilege abuse, and more, all in real time.

Practice your incident responses

Your business may have strong cybersecurity, but it only takes one person to click through an email and open an attachment.

All businesses should have a incident response plan. These plans should document your IT infrastructure and critical assets and clearly define who is responsible for what.

Also, create worst-case scenario playbooks and instruct staff on what to do if the cyber emergency occurs. In times of stress, people panic. No one knows how they will react in a real emergency, but the practice mitigates human error.

Ensure your security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) technology and processes are top-notch and integrated into hands-on exercises. Brainstorming through the different scenarios will improve your automated workflows for these incident responses.

Given current geopolitical events and government warnings, credit unions need to assess their current cybersecurity measures and adopt necessary changes. Centralizing your cybersecurity monitoring, adopting UEBA technology, and practicing incident response are all must-haves. However, planning for cybersecurity should be an ongoing process.

At LogRhythm, we have over a decade of experience securing some of the best financial cybersecurity operations in the world. Visit our website to learn more.

The post office How to Strengthen Your Credit Union’s Cybersecurity Program appeared first on Log Rhythm.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Log Rhythm written by Kelsey Gast. Read the original post at: https://logrhythm.com/blog/how-to-strengthen-your-credit-union-cybersecurity-program/

Ryan H. Bowman