Headlines in 2018 were rife with legal traps ensnaring credit unions. Below are strategies for helping to keep your credit union out of the headlines.

Invest in technology solutions to protect member information. Data breaches and security threats are becoming more frequent and sophisticated, with nearly half of data breaches being caused by malicious or criminal acts. In 2019, expect the NCUA and state regulators to take a more proactive role in managing credit unions’ information security and technology systems. Although not required, obtaining cyber insurance and using the FFIEC’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool are best practices. If a credit union declines to implement best practices, the rationale should be documented for examiners.

Police third-party vendors, which are often the weak links in cybersecurity. Following press reports that a large core processing vendor suffered a massive data breach, credit unions using third parties to provide digital solutions will be expected to more actively maintain their vendor management programs. A credit union should implement a strong onboarding and due diligence program for prospective vendors, actively monitor vendors’ legal compliance and negotiate sufficient contractual protections to safeguard member information.

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