The pandemic has made identifying and reducing security gaps even more important for credit unions because COVID-19 has ushered in higher levels of fraud, identity theft and other cybercrimes which cybersecurity experts predict will continue to skyrocket. Many of these crimes can be prevented with the right approach to document management, ensuring that your credit union’s sensitive information is not at risk.
The following are three key areas that leave your credit union vulnerable in the context of pandemic-related security threats:
- Changes in your credit union’s use of technology and operational workflow.
- Staff working conditions.
- Member exposure and behaviors.
Cloud-based document management is a key component of credit union information security and can help you shore up your resources in all of these areas. Here’s how:
- Tackle technology and workflow risks with active cybersecurity oversight.
If your credit union was forced to make a sudden shift to the cloud and remote processing due to the pandemic, your tech stack may not be as secure as you think it is. Beware of security gaps created by fragmented workflows resulting from non-integrated solutions, especially where data is required to be migrated manually between applications in order to process loans and other services. If you are relying on locally hosted software or hardware, now is the time to make the move to get all your applications and files into the cloud.
A cloud-based document management system such as SmartVault can provide the backbone for your credit union’s plan to protect against cybersecurity threats in several ways. First, with built-in secure file sharing and granular user access permissions, you can collaborate with your staff, members and third-party partners online easily and securely. No more sending or receiving sensitive documents as unsecured email attachments (we should know by now how unsecure and risky that is), instead, documents and files can be shared in a private, password-protected document portal that only authorized users can access.
Secondly, a cloud-based document management system has the ability to protect sensitive data by following advanced security protocol guidance from the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), making it easier for your credit union to stay in compliance with important industry regulations.
In addition, it is important to review your tech stack for potential gaps and implement any needed integrations between solutions to reduce the risks related to data transmission vulnerabilities. The right document management platform should provide your credit union with high-level encryption for your data whether it is securely stored in the cloud or it is being transmitted over the internet.
- Ensure that your staff are security-savvy to prevent risk to your credit union.
Human error (usually by omission) is often the driver of successful fraud attempts and cybercrimes. In fact, the perpetrators of these crimes leverage the trust, ignorance and preoccupation of their victims to their advantage. This is why, despite the risks related to phishing, malware, identity theft and other fraudulent activities being widely reported, there have been many victims, and security breaches are still prevalent. Many of these attacks will come as innocent emails from a seemingly familiar but fradulent sender, asking your internal staff to click on malicious links, or hand over sensitive information.
This underscores the importance of training staff on how to avoid these scams as well as having the right process and platform in place for securely storing and sharing information internally and to external parties. With a cloud-based document management platform, you can monitor and control changes or access to information and real-time updating of files, preventing issues related to file security and integrity.
- Implement protocols to protect member data.
In addition to the added risks your credit union faces during the pandemic from its own technology infrastructure and staff behaviors, perhaps the largest risk comes from the way you serve and interact with your members and their data.
Your credit union likely handles thousands of pieces of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) related to its members. Consider the risk related to a data breach if you do not have the proper protocols in place for your members to use in order to share this information with you.
By utilizing a secure, cloud-based document management platform, your members’ sensitive data is protected with practically impenetrable encryption during transit and at rest. Unless your internal IT or security team implement a similar level of encryption to your local network servers or extra stringent security measures for paper-based documents, your credit union will likely be liable when there’s a data breach. However, when you use a cloud-based system, it will help to reduce the possibility of your credit union having liability related to a data breach involving your members.
Pandemic security threats require a proactive response from your credit union.
Given the increased risk of cybersecurity threats brought about by COVID-19 it’s imperative that your credit union takes action now to protect itself and its members from them. A comprehensive cloud-based document management system, like SmartVault provides the infrastructure necessary to build a solid response to these threats while also providing the foundation from which your institution can continue to build its protective processes and protocols for the future.