ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 1, 2014)
– The National Credit Union Administration is reminding credit unions that protecting themselves and their members from cyberattacks remains a priority.
October is the eleventh annual Cyber Security Awareness Month, and NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz urged credit unions to be proactive.
“Threats from hackers, fraudsters, thieves and terrorists can come at any time, from just about any direction,” Matz said. “In the last six months, we learned about two significant vulnerabilities, Heartbleed and Shellshock, which presented serious threats to security. A credit union could be the target of an attack, or someone could try to use a credit union as a conduit to attack other businesses. With so much of our lives tethered to the flow of personal information across the internet, protecting that information is a constant responsibility.”
Cost estimates of cybercrime vary, and they are frequently large. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center earlier this year logged its three-millionth consumer complaint, and the total estimated dollar loss from those complaints is $3 billion. The Center for Strategic and International Studies in June estimated the annual global cost of cybercrime to be between $375 billion and $575 billion.
NCUA provides credit unions an extensive array of information about preventing, detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats, including regulations and guidance, on the Cyber Security Resources
page on the agency’s website. Matz also said cybersecurity should be part of credit unions’ financial literacy efforts, and NCUA’s consumer website, MyCreditUnion.gov
and the financial literacy microsite, Pocket Cents
, have helpful information.
“It stands to reason that teaching members to protect their information and their finances is as much a part of financial literacy as teaching them how to balance a budget or apply for a loan,” Matz said. “It’s all part of helping members become educated.”
During October, NCUA will highlight ways credit union members can protect their personal and financial information on its consumer Twitter feed, @MyCUgov
, as well as in the upcoming October issue of the NCUA Report
. The agency will also regularly post tips and best practices on NCUA’s Facebook
pages that credit unions can use to make their electronic information systems and online engagements more secure.
Now in its eleventh year, Cyber Security Awareness Month is a national initiative sponsored by Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. The month raises awareness and educates Americans about cybersecurity and increases the resiliency of the nation and its cyberinfrastructure. For more information, visit www.staysafeonline.org