CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 145 Robert Siciliano on Ransomware and Who Do You Trust?

cu 2.0 podcast

PSCU called it a growing credit union threat.  CUNA Mutual called it one of the fastest growing malware threats. Security company Arctic Wolf has said there was a 520% increase in ransomware and phishing attacks in the banking sector between March and June 2020.  NCUA has even issued a punchlist of steps to take to protect against ransomware attacks.

Color me surprised.  I had thought ransomware – where hackers “lock” a site or a database and demand a ransom to unlock it – was a thing of the past.  Data redundancy in the cloud had eliminated the threat, I thought.

I was wrong.

Crooks are nimble and in today’s iteration of ransomware, yes, the site still is locked – but before that happens the crook makes a point to copy key files.  Tell the crooks you won’t play ball, or simply ignore their demands, and they up the ante by posting a sample of their data theft on publicly viewable sites. Imagine if the Social Security numbers of 10,000 of your members suddenly sprout up online. How ugly is that?

Would you pay to avoid that?

Crooks also know that increasing numbers of credit unions have what amounts to ransomware insurance coverage and they also know how much the insurers will pay.

Don’t underestimate them.  Brilliant hackers they are not necessarily – some in fact simply use ransomware kits they buy online – but here is what it takes to defeat them: recognizing that security is a 24/7, 365 days a year job, says Robert Siciliano, a longtime cybersecurity expert who works with many organizations to help them raise their defenses.

It is not being paranoid, believing we are under continuing attacks, insists Siciliano in this podcast.  It is just being prudent

This is not a podcast overloaded with technical jargon.  What it is is a podcast intended to light a fire under all of us because we need that zeal if we intend to win, says Siciliano.

Listen Here

Want to listen to more of the Credit Union 2.0 podcast series? Click here to view the series.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available. Email

Recent Posts