The avalanche of data breach events in the U.S. continues to plague businesses of all sizes. The headline news only captures the larger company breach events, but there are thousands of small to medium size businesses who face devastating consequences from criminal attacks….and we just don’t hear about it. In fact, 53 percent of mid-sized businesses have already experienced a data breach, according to a recent Cisco SMB Cybersecurity Report.
Many credit unions serve the financial needs of small to medium size businesses (SMBs) with services that help them maintain and grow their hopes and dreams. According to recent studies, lurking in the dark are criminals who are focused on infiltrating these SMBs and creating a nightmare from which many cannot recover. These organizations often have smaller cybersecurity budgets and may not be able to afford a chief security officer (CSO) or in-house security team able to take on protective and response duties.
Today, there are breach recovery and ID theft protection services available that can help protect SMB owners from a possible collapse of their life’s dream. Credit unions have the opportunity to offer this type of service to their SMBs, which can provide the ultimate safety net for your business members. These services would also create greater member loyalty and a superior “business engagement” program.
Recent statistics from the National Cyber Security Alliance indicates that your business members are the most vulnerable to cyber- attacks. And according to a recent CU Times article, the number of data breaches in 2019, so far, indicate a record breaking year ahead of us. Now is the time to take action.
Do your due diligence and research to find solutions that allow you to more completely serve your SMB accounts by supporting their financial and cyber security needs. There are solutions that go far beyond cyber insurance to create a comprehensive cybersecurity preparedness that ensures your business members survive and properly respond when faced with a breach disaster. Let’s face it, SMBs need to be focused on their day-to-day issues and they do not want to be burdened with financial stress or the outside threats from would-be criminals.
Credit unions can differentiate themselves in these stressful times to provide a unique solution to SMBs and position themselves for more loans and revenue in the future, which can help maximize engagement with businesses, as well.
As the data breach tidal wave continues within the US and internationally, the likelihood of an SMB executive or a key employee having a personal ID theft event is growing and expanding. As SMB executives & employees receive more and more breach notices, the individual threats are escalating and, more importantly, the consequences of an attack today is more devastating than ever before. According to recent statistics from Javelin Strategy Research, out of pocket costs for victims more than doubled in two years. Therefore, SMBs are also in dire need of credit union services that would extend ID theft recovery programs to all employees, or at least the primary employees and company executives.
Again, credit unions have access to service providers who can make it possible for them to provide this kind of critical SMB support for ID theft attacks against their business member’s employees/management. These ID theft recovery services often can go hand-in-hand with finding the best data breach recovery services from service providers. Incorporating both data breach and ID theft recovery services into your overall business member account services will create a differentiator from other competing financial institutions…to help grow the number of businesses you serve.
Credit unions should look to maximize the kind of services they can bring to their SMB members. Research your providers and find those who can bring your business accounts a suite of services to drive your value proposition as high as possible. There are residual non-interest income opportunities which credit unions can generate with a strong account value of high quality and relevant services for their business members. Hopefully potential future legislation could pave the way for credit unions to be more aggressive with commercial loans. Therefore, a stronger bonding with business accounts can result in expanded loan opportunities and access to all the business’s employees as well. The non-interest income possibilities could allow your credit union to also be more aggressive in lowering loan rates or increasing interest rates on business account deposits.
The increasing threats of data breach events for SMBs isn’t going to go away. Criminals know that these small companies are the low-hanging fruit for attack. It is time for credit unions to expand their vision and look at new services to attract these vulnerable SMBs. To sum it up, the benefits to your credit union, as a result of stronger business account offerings, include an expanded fee income stream, a greater engagement level for long term dealings, and a differentiator that attracts more businesses.
Don’t ignore the signs of the times and miss a significant opportunity to better serve and support the life-blood of American growth and prosperity...SMBs.
Jim McCabe, Senior Vice President, Identity Theft Services at Vero.