Technology

Security Remains A Top Concern

A wave of DDoS attacks struck financial institutions earlier this year.

October 01, 2013
KEYWORDS IT , security , technology
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Brandon Smith would love to eradicate duplicate services among vendors—with one exception. 

“The one place where you can tolerate redundancy is security,” says Smith, vice president of finance and operations for $98 million asset Reliant Federal Credit Union in Casper, Wyo. “It’s a proven model to have multiple layers of security. So if there’s some overlap there, I don’t sweat that too much.” 

Smith’s not alone in holding that viewpoint. Protecting data and infrastructure was a top concern for 79% of credit unions responding to CUNA research. Systems availability and recovery was next at 47%. 

A wave of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that struck financial institutions earlier this year, and the rapid increase of online and mobile transactions underscore the need for tight controls. 

“It’s no longer as much a focus on protecting a branch’s cash vault or teller stations from armed robbery, as protecting our data from an electronic theft,” says Robert Reh, chief information officer at $392 million asset Nassau Financial Federal Credit Union in Westbury, N.Y. “These threats continue to evolve and require additional countermeasures and protections,” he says. 

Training staff to recognize threats represents another expense. Chris Saneda, chief information officer at $2.4 billion Virginia Credit Union in Richmond, remains vigilant against widespread system threats 

But he worries most about individual attacks such as “spear-phishing” attempts that target executives or system administrators; advanced, persistent threats that go undetected; or an employee clicking a link and infecting systems with a devastating virus. 

“My biggest data leak concern involves people,” Saneda says. “We spend a lot of time and money educating staff, putting in multi layered defenses, and even buying insurance, but all it takes is one infraction to cause significant harm.” 

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive