NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on Cybersecurity Preparedness and Trends Briefing

April 2021
NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Statement on Cybersecurity Preparedness and Trends Briefing
Chairman Todd M. Harper

NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper at the NCUA's Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

As Prepared for Delivery on April 22, 2021

Thank you, Johnny, for that informative briefing. Like my fellow Board Members, I am deeply concerned about the risks that cyber-attacks pose to our financial system.

As noted in your presentation, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased cybersecurity exposures for federally insured credit unions. Phishing, ransomware, and distributed denial of service attacks are just some of the ways that cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities within the credit union industry and the broader financial system.

To compete, credit unions must be able to safely and securely use technology to deliver member services and adopt financial innovations to ensure the industry’s long-term success. We must all work together to promote innovation with an emphasis on security and equity.

Each of us — the NCUA, state supervisory authorities, vendors, and credit unions — has a responsibility to protect our systems, improve our ability to recover from incidents, educate our staff, share information, and report and address potential vulnerabilities.

Briefings like this one today are a critical part of our efforts to promote cybersecurity best practices and inform credit unions about the potential threats they face. I encourage credit unions to utilize the information-sharing groups and other resources presented in this briefing.

For many credit unions that are balancing several priorities, it may seem that resources are not available to help improve cyber preparedness. However, as part of the NCUA’s 2021 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant initiative, low-income credit unions can apply for up to $7,000 to strengthen their cyber defenses. The application period runs May 3 through June 26, and I encourage all eligible credit unions to consider applying for these grants.

In closing, all credit unions, regardless of size, are vulnerable to potential cyberattacks. The NCUA is committed to strengthening the readiness of the credit union system to respond to these risks through our supervisory program, training, and CDRLF grants and loan program. I look forward to continuing to work with Vice Chairman Hauptman and Board Member Hood on this important issue.

Thank you again, Johnny. I now recognize Vice Chairman Hauptman for his comments.

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