Is Your Credit Union Cyber Secure?
Posted by Kay Sikes, Identity and Access Management Specialist, Catalyst Corporate FCU on 9/27/2018

Halloween. Columbus Day. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). October is a busy month! Each October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance join forces to educate businesses, consumers and students on how to stay safe and secure online. 

This year, as NCSAM turns 15, the campaign goal is to increase awareness of the shared responsibility we have in securing digital assets. Credit union employees often remind members how to protect their accounts. But, who reminds the employees to be just as careful with their online activities and digital duties? After all, anyone at any level is susceptible to scams, phishing attempts and fraud.

Let’s think about NCSAM as a four-week refresher course in cyber security, and start with the basics.

What is Cyber Security?
The U.S Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology defines cyber security as the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity and availability.

As consumers, we live an Internet-connected, digital life. Each of us is responsible for ensuring our online activities are safe and secure. This includes using strong usernames and passwords, making sure our own private networks, or networks we are accessing in public locations, are secure, and keeping a clean computer, free from viruses and malware. All of this can seem overwhelming and scary. That is why NCSAM works to generate awareness.

Stop. Think. Connect.
Cyber Security is a complex topic, but credit unions must start somewhere. These three steps – cornerstones of NCSAM campaigns for the past eight years – may help credit unions and members focus their energy in areas that have the greatest impact:
STOP. Make sure security measures are in place.
THINK. About the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.
CONNECT. And enjoy the internet.

Get Staff on Board.
Throughout October, organizations, including Catalyst Corporate (an NCSAM-registered Champion), find creative ways to engage and educate employees about cyber security. Some of Catalyst Corporate’s activities include:

  • Weekly email distribution of NCSAM’s weekly theme, a cybersecurity tip and a related activity

  • Messages reinforced by lobby marquee, posters, memes and security-related video clips

  • Scavenger hunt and interactive game coordinated by IT Security and Business Continuity departments that offer small rewards for participating in the educational process

To help get your credit union started with an NCSAM campaign, check out the cyber security awareness campaigns from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).



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