We are facing an unprecedented time in our lives with the coronavirus upon us and people taking every imaginable precaution to “be safe” and survive the aftermath. Having three sisters who are nurses and who love to give advice, the basic practices of good hygiene are essential and the best way to avoid this virus. That is as far as this article will go on any medical aspects of this issue.
With the wave of fear going on, it might be a great opportunity for credit unions to look at the financial aspects of this unprecedented time and determine what other ways that members could be supported.
Understanding that the healthcare industry is the leading industry for data breach and ID theft related issues (medical ID theft & fraud), perhaps it might be prudent to look for ways to protect members as they find themselves possibly spending more time in urgent care facilities or hospitals. Criminals know that these healthcare operations are extremely distracted by the potential number of patients which could unfold….hopefully not….but these operations need to be prepared. For an example, in 2019, 40 million Americans were affected by health data breaches.
Members might really appreciate a symbol of protection and concern from their credit union at this time. Although you can’t provide a medical solution to offer, you could provide basic protection against the threats of medical fraud attacks and provide increased member awareness to be on guard. For those credit unions who might already have ID theft & fraud protection incorporated into services it is a fantastic time to remind members of these powerful services.
The coronavirus scams are already in full swing from the criminals and we can all expect it to only get worse as people continue to get bombarded with every imaginable negative news associated with this pandemic…driving up fear and uncertainty.
There are a wide variety of packaged solutions out on the market that incorporate fully managed ID theft & fraud recovery together with strong dark web monitoring to give members the ultimate safety net against criminal medical fraud & ID theft attacks. If nothing else, incorporating these kinds of services signifies to members the intent to be protective in whatever means possible….and help calm fears. It might even be practical to provide these services at no cost to the members for an extended period of time, thus showing a sensitivity to the economic effects of all of this as well.
These unprecedented times call for unprecedented action and credit unions have a powerful voice with their members to guide them and offer a positive message of identity protection and safety while they are dealing with the potential medical dangers at the same time. Any kind of positive news at this time could be received by members in the most significant way and remind them how credit unions uniquely go beyond their walls to enhance the lives of those they serve.
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.
Despite a heightened understanding and awareness of the importance of strong cyber security by everyone, the trend of data breach attacks continues to increase - impacting thousands of businesses and millions of individuals. Last year, there was a 40% increase over 2015 in the number of businesses that were impacted by data breaches. Businesses of all sizes were hacked by criminals that used techniques such as ransomware and non-malware attacks to steal data.
No organization is safe from a data breach. It’s no longer a question of “if”, but “when” a business will have its data compromised…per retired FBI special agent
Over the last five years, data breaches have recurrently made headline news as large businesses such as; Yahoo, Target, Home Depot, Dropbox, Ebay, JP Morgan Chase, Anthem and Living Social, were hit by hackers. Thousands of credit union cardholder members were impacted by these hacks. Yahoo’s 2013 and 2014 hacks took 2-3 years to discover; allowing the criminals and black market even more time to devastate the victims’ identities. Most recently, restaurant chain Arby’s was hacked by malware that affected 1,000 restaurants and even more credit union members – very much like Wendy’s ’16 breach.
Although there are steps that organizations can take to help make themselves less vulnerable to a data breach, it is impossible for any organization to guarantee it won’t happen.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) have personally been victims of data breaches. And 65% of US Consumers are terrified of experiencing an ID theft.
According to Pew Research Center’s most recent survey:
To make matters worse, coinciding with the rise of data breach victims, there is now the new threat of Civil and Class-Action Lawsuits facing the businesses from these victims – driving new legal and settlement costs.
The aftermath of big company data breaches is almost always characterized by class-action lawsuits. While not every litigation makes its way to the public eye, it is becoming more and more common for organizations of all sizes to face a civil or class-action lawsuit after a data breach. The best way that credit unions and other organizations can protect themselves against litigation is to have a trusted Fully Managed Recovery System in place, such as Vero's IDProSelect.
The majority of Americans expect cyberattack on the nation’s banking and financial systems.
Many Americans lack confidence that various public and private institutions will be able to protect their personal information from bad elements. While Americans often first turn to their financial institution after finding out that they’ve been a victim of a data breach, the majority of them also fear that a major cyberattack will occur on the nation’s banking and financial systems within the next five years. Organizations that have implemented a Fully Managed Recovery System often have clients and members that have greater peace-of-mind.
Having programs in place for cyber security and data breach response is no longer just an option for credit unions. For the second year in a row, the NCUA’s Supervisory Priorities have mandated that credit unions have a plan for 1) cyber security 2) member response and 3) fraud prevention. Vero’s IDProSelect helps credit unions address these areas of NCUA's 2017 Supervisory Priorities.
For more information on how your organization can protect itself from the ramifications of a data breach or to receive more information on Vero’s IDProSelect, please contact Jim McCabe at email@example.com or call (480) 748-0403.