The widening gap between understaffed IT departments and growingdemands for better, more complicated datasecurity is pushing many credit unions and community banks tooutsource the management of their IT networks and securitymonitoring, according to new research.

In a new survey of about 110 credit unions and community banks,done by Alpharetta, Georgia-based technology security firm SafeSystems, 80% see cybersecurity as their greatest securitychallenge in the year ahead. However, 31% had just oneemployee in their IT departments, and 26% had just two ITemployees. Only 12% had more than five IT staff employees.

In turn, the vast majority (76%) of the respondents said they'reoutsourcing the management of their IT networks to third parties,and 86% are outsourcing their security monitoring — not a surprise,considering the number of recent data breaches, the studynoted. A full 77% of respondents said they'd been hit withdebit card fraud within the past 18 months,making it the most common type of fraudulent activity in the study.About a quarter suffered from malware threats during that time.

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