5 ways credit unions can fight malware

The credit union industry has long been a target of cyber criminals, but in recent years, it’s the smaller credit unions that have come under the greatest number of attacks. Smaller credit unions and banks (less than $35 million in assets) accounted for 81% of hacking and malware breaches in the financial industry during the first six months of 2016, a 54% increase over 2015.1 Malware is a broad term used to describe all sorts of malicious software including viruses, spyware, trojans, worms, and more.  It is up to credit unions to stop this trend by putting into place measures that thwart these attacks. Here are 5 implementations credit unions should consider to protect themselves from malware:

  1. Web Filtering: This is commonly the first line of defense against web-based attacks. Malicious or hacked websites, a primary vector for initiating attacks, trigger downloads of malware, spyware, or risky content.  A good web filtering service will block risky sites, as well as prevent malware downloads from hacked websites.2  While web filtering is important, it is not enough to detect all types of malware or block silent attacks of deployment malware in corporate environments.
  2. Firewalls: General firewall protection blocks unauthorized access at the server level while permitting outward communication. They act as a filter between your network and the internet and are a great level of defense. However, firewalls do come with their own set of complications.  Many financial institutions struggle to find an equilibrium in their firewall configurations that allows for a functional and open work environment while still blocking all malicious traffic.
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