Financial institutions like credit unions are valuable targets for cybercriminals, putting them at a high risk for threats. At the board level, human error and the attention of hackers are the biggest threats to your organization’s cybersecurity. By targeting executives and directors, hackers and cybercriminals gain access to sensitive financial data or even the entire organization’s computer network. There are steps you can take to improve the cybersecurity measures your board of directors uses to protect the data of your members and vendors.
#1 Stop Using Email
One of the first things you will learn from reading news and articles about software security is that email is not a secure technology and was never meant to be one. Not only is it possible for cybercriminals to intercept emails, it’s even easier for them to use email to acquire login information or install malware on a device. Given the value and sensitivity of data that credit union boards distribute and discuss, directors of credit unions, even small ones, are highly-valued targets for cybercriminals.
#2 Brief Board Directors On Security
While technological solutions like board portals can make information security easier to achieve, it’s equally important that the people entrusted with sensitive data know how to handle it. Your approach to board security should mirror your approach to information security for the rest of the organization.
First, identify the major risks facing your board of directors. As a credit union, your board’s biggest risks are phishing attacks and malware. Phishing attacks are attempts to gain login access to your network through fraudulent emails, fake websites, or keylogging; all involve a director or employee failing to notice that something is wrong and willingly providing passwords. Malware also gives cybercriminals access to a network; all a director has to do is download a fraudulent attachment posing as a legitimate document. A successful malware attack is as easy as convincing someone to open the wrong email attachment by using a client or a business partner’s logo.
Second, identify the next steps that the credit union can take to improve the security of board books. The solution should be a combination of more secure technology, like a board portal, as well as training and awareness on the part of directors for dealing with ongoing risks. Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and directors should be informed about major risks.
#3 Use A Board Portal
Board portals provide the easiest security option for credit union boards of directors. A board portal like Aprio Boardroom stores all the files shared in board books that directors need to prepare for meetings and decisions. When the administrator updates files, an email notification is sent to all directors with a link to the portal; access still requires a password login. Using the mobile app, directors can access files on their tablets offline without having to print or download them. Security used to come at a premium, but today, affordably priced board portals like Aprio offer the same level of security as more expensive options. As the technology becomes more accessible, now is a great time to reassess your board portal vendor.