Financial and cybersecurity literacy: The pillars for credit unions

Financial literacy is all about education, awareness, and preparation. When your credit union is no stranger to fraud and other forms of cybercrime, it is safe to assume that neither are your customers.

The Federal Trade Commission released its annual report showing that in 2022, 2.4 million fraud reports resulted in an $8.8 billion reported loss. Scammers contacting consumers via phone or social media led to the most significant loss. Reported fraud losses increased more than 30 percent from 2021 to 2022.

Subsequently, most of your customers are still far from attaining financial literacy, which goes hand-in-hand with a healthy cybersecurity posture. To assist you further in this journey, below are a few pillars and questions you should ask yourself when trying to determine your credit union’s financial literacy:

What are the Pillars of Financial Literacy?

The pillars of financial literacy include budgeting, investing, cybersecurity, education programs, and goal setting. While it is always good to focus on managing assets and building savings, credit unions must start by protecting what they have. For more and more credit unions, cybersecurity literacy is expected just as much as financial literacy is, especially for board members. Here are a few pillars explained:

Proactive Security Awareness:

Education is the primary necessity of financial literacy and cybersecurity awareness. Without proper knowledge and understanding of achieving financial success, your organization will not be on the right path. The first step to protecting your credit union and customers from falling victim to financial scams is learning how to spot them.

Implementing Proactive Security Awareness training will set the foundation for your credit union and empower employees to be aware and report scams. As we know, knowledge is power, and ensuring employees feel confident in their ability to report an attempted attack can be the difference between temporarily shutting down operations and conducting business as usual.

Questions to ask:

  • Does your organization have educational programs to promote or teach financial literacy and cybersecurity awareness to protect finances?
  • How does your credit union educate your customers on being financially and cybersecurity literate?

Ensure Proper Budgets and Operational Plans:

Goal setting in any capacity is critical to measuring success. Set a five-year plan for how you wish to grow, use and save money within that period. That will be a great accountability tracker for your teams and the organization. Goal setting and planning also include developing and practicing an incident response plan in case of a financial crisis or cybersecurity breach from an operational standpoint.

Ensuring a proper budget includes looking at third-party services and vendors to see how to save money in certain areas and invest in others effectively. For example, finding the proper talent and budget for a stacked cybersecurity team internally can be challenging. Managed Detection and Response Services are a fraction of the cost when outsourced and can even assist with incident response plans regarding cyber threats.

Questions to ask:

  • What are your organization’s financial goals?
  • Do you have a five-year financial plan?
  • Do you have an incident response plan?
  • What security measures are in place to proactively search for cyber threats?

Cybersecurity and Financial Literacy Relationship

Asking yourself these questions along your financial and cybersecurity literacy journey will guide your path and give you a better sense of direction. The goal is not to be financially perfect but to be economically wise, which includes protecting what you have built. Your credit union and customers face some of the most serious and sophisticated cyberattacks, with data security and finances being the prime targets.

When evaluating your credit union’s financial literacy, ensuring you are being smart with your finances and protecting your and your customer’s assets is important. A Security Operations Platform illuminates threats against credit unions that would’ve otherwise gone unnoticed and provide continuous compliance reporting that auditors require. Setting a concrete financial literacy foundation and cybersecurity foundation is essential to keep your credit union secure.

Eliminate Risks and Protect Your Financial Assets

Assistance from an extended security team helps close gaps for credit unions, specifically investing in Adlumin’s Security Operations Platform paired with Managed Detection and Response Services. Without the cost of extending or building your team internally, credit unions gain expertise in what is going on within their IT environment. These solutions give you a safety net and protect you against data breaches and other cyber threats.

Is Your Credit Union Prepared?

Contact Adlumin’s cybersecurity experts to learn how to strengthen your security overnight or get started with a demo.

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Brittany Holmes

Brittany Holmes

Brittany Holmes is Corporate Communications Manager at Adlumin Inc., a cybersecurity technology firm. She focuses on content creation and management for Adlumin emphasizing cybersecurity best practices, risks, and solutions across ... Web: Details