Cybersecurity must be a major part of an organization's business plan and strategy, no matter its size. It is one of the most critical areas of focus for financial institutions in particular. There are simple steps that credit unions can take to improve its cyber posture.
Tip #1: Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
It only takes a few extra seconds, but can significantly reduce your chances of a successful cyber attack. You need more than a password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.
The National Cybersecurity Alliance agrees: “Always enable multi-factor authentication. Also known as two-factor authentication and two-step verification. No matter what you call it, multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a security measure that requires anyone logging into an account to navigate a two-step process to prove their identity. It makes it twice as hard for criminals to access an online account.”
Just like logging into your account, the first step is giving your password or passphrase. The second step is to provide an extra way of proving that you’re you, like entering a PIN code or texting/emailing a code to your mobile device, or accessing an authenticator app.
Multi-factor authentication can include:
- An extra PIN (personal identification number)
- The answer to an extra security question like, “What’s your favorite pet’s name?”
- An additional code either emailed to an account or texted to a mobile number
- A biometric identifier like facial recognition or a fingerprint
- A unique number generated by an “Authenticator App”
- A secure token, which is a separate piece of hardware (like a key fob that holds information) that verifies a person’s identity with a database or system
Just a few extra seconds to validate your identity can help protect you, your credit union, and your members from a disastrous cyber attack.
Contact our team to learn more about our cybersecurity services and training.
About the Author
Michael Seidelman is Director of Cybersecurity for Think|Stack, a Managed IT Services CUSO specializing in cloud and cybersecurity solutions for credit unions and non-profits.