It seems all modes of media decry new and emerging cyber threats daily, with tales of large companies and government agencies victimized and severely damaged by these attacks. Cyberattacks, ransomware, data exfiltration and phishing (the kind that has nothing to do with psychedelic-rock music or ice cream) create heightened fear and anxiety – and pose constant threats for all industries. In 2021, social engineering attacks reached an all-time high, and these types of attacks had the highest rate of success globally.

With all the other strategic concerns and competition facing credit unions, how can you combat this increasingly hostile and expensive landscape more effectively? It is imperative that you develop, implement and cultivate a culture of ongoing cybersecurity awareness and learning.

Imagine what the cyber threat landscape would look like if the white hat hackers didn’t exist to help identify and combat emerging threats. And what would happen if your IT manager didn’t constantly worry (every single second of every single day) about where and how the next attack would emerge and what was being done to prevent it? The best IT managers continuously prepare for, anticipate and implement processes to foil an event; it is the foundation of their cyber-defense. IT professionals respond and consistently employ new, robust tools and methods to thwart these attacks, but if you talk with anyone who has had the unenviable task of remediating a cyberattack, particularly a ransomware or phishing attack, you will inevitably hear, “I wish we had,” “We should have” and “Why didn’t we?” By continuously preparing all employees for a cyber event, you can forestall some of the remorse and potentially minimize the damage of an attack against your credit union.

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