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    Are you practicing good cyber hygiene?

    November 27, 2019

    Like flossing every night, good hygiene in your cyber practices can reduce the risk of bigger problems cropping up.


    That’s why Bently Rolf, Celero’s Chief Information Security Officer, is sharing his insights on cyber risks and what credit unions can do to become more cyber resilient.

    What are the biggest cyber threats credit unions face?

    Bently: Financial services is one of the most targeted sectors by cyber criminals in Canada, so credit unions actually face quite a few threats. The three biggest threats we see for our clients right now are: phishing, poor username and password hygiene, and malware.

    Phishing is effective for cyber criminals when people don’t know or notice the signs of phishing e-mails. Poor user name and password hygiene makes credit unions susceptible to brute force attacks. Malware becomes an issue if a credit union employee unintentionally visits a malicious website.

    All three of these threats can be mitigated or prevented with education and good cyber hygiene practices. We tell everyone it’s about being a ‘human firewall’ -- shouldering the responsibility of staying alert and using common sense in our day-to-day operations.


    What is cyber resilience?

    Bently: Cyber resilience is the ability for an organization to respond to cyber security event with minimal impact to the organization.  It’s being able to ‘bend, but not break’.


    As an industry, we have lots of threat actors challenging our environment daily, and we need to have cyber practices in place that enable us to sustainably prevent, mitigate and respond to those threats.


    So what are good cyber hygiene habits?

    Bently: Being aware, conscientious and diligent are probably the most important cyber hygiene habits, and here are four key ways you can do that:  


    1. Know how to detect phishing emails and report them
    2. Change your passwords on a regular basis AND use multi-factor authentication
    3. Keep operating system, application, and network patching levels current, as many compromises are based on old vulnerabilities that actually have patches available.
    4. Be careful what websites you go to, as many compromises are picked up from bad web sites.

    Can credit unions really stay protected?

    Bently: Everyone needs to be diligent about security. Threats are always evolving, so you do the best you can, and have a good response plan in place to react to any event.


    That’s why Celero provides robust, managed security services that are continually evolving, improving and growing to meet the challenges of handling cyber security for Canada’s financial institutions. For instance, we just launched our new managed security service, Celero Protex™, which will help credit unions prevent a potential security breach.

    Why is Celero a good cyber security partner for credit unions?

    Bently: Cyber security is one of our core competencies, and we believe there are three key pillars – people, process and technology – in preventing attacks, protecting clients and managing security. Our proactive and preventative strategies are based on these three pillars and designed to help credit unions close the gaps that allow data breaches to occur. We continuously work on improving our maturity level around these three pillars, for instance, every year we do a cyber security simulation exercise.


    This focus on continuous improvement means that our clients can rely on us to be in tune with shifts and advances in cyber security and cyber-criminal behaviours to continue to refine and build our cyber security solutions to proactively address those needs.

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