Credit Unions Have Changed. Should Their Security Strategy Change, Too?

Credit union cybersecurity is a fast-evolving scene. Largely, that’s due to a few major factors:

  • New and emerging threats
  • Technological developments
  • Operational changes in business

20 years ago, we didn’t really have smart phones. We rarely worked on laptops. Remote work as we know it—and have come to know it in 2020—wasn’t possible until recently.

And now it’s not just possible—it’s becoming the norm. What does this mean for credit unions and cybersecurity?

 

A Whole New World (of Cybersecurity)

Especially in the early days of the pandemic, businesses shuttered and operated as remotely as possible. Employees brought workstations home, kept in touch via Teams and Slack, and generally did the best they could.

Though not seamless, it was a remarkably fast transition.

But it also brought new risks… and reinforced existing ones. Especially for credit unions, the risks posed by remote devices, data capturing, and more couldn’t be ignored. It was even the subject of several credit union compliance blogs.

The takeaway should be this:

The pandemic didn’t increase our need for better cybersecurity. Rather, it made apparent how far behind we’ve been.

Unfortunately, a lot of security tools, features, and practices are outdated. They have been for a while.  We’re trying to handle:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and Operationalized Technology (OT)
  • Cloud and hybrid environments
  • SaaS and legacy applications

And through all of it, we’re trying to attract and retain top-tier IT talent. And let’s be honest… that’s easier said than done for most credit unions.

 

Rethinking Credit Union Cybersecurity

On the CU 2.0 blog, we’ve discussed several possible solutions. They range from the CU-specific CISO-as-a-Service from Ongoing Operations to AI-based anti-malware products.

These are incredible solutions for their purpose.

But they’re not holistic solutions. They address only a small range of needs, not the whole picture. For a more full-spectrum answer, look at what Acreto is doing:

Simple and affordable enterprise-grade security, with all the features of the products you need… without the products!

Acreto calls it SASE+. It brings all the traditional SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architecture into play, including:

  • Zero Trust security
  • SD-WAN
  • Cloud/SaaS readiness and security
  • VPN an MPLS replacement

But Acreto goes beyond the typical SASE platform to offer more. They include SADI (Secure Application and Data Interconnect) into their service package as well. This connects and protects application delivery infrastructure such as clouds, SaaS, data centers, and co-locations.

It’s just more cybersecurity under one big umbrella.

 

Learn More About Emerging Fintechs

CU 2.0’s Fintech Friday series is designed to give you a quick introduction to fintechs, vendors, and tech providers serving the credit union industry.

To meet these organizations firsthand, join the Fintech Spring Meetup. Credit unions join free!

You may also qualify for our Quarterly Fintech Calls service. We offer free 30-minute calls to credit union leaders on a quarterly basis to discuss new products, organizations, or strategies. Request more info here!