Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Resources

Community Banks Remain Vigilant Amid COVID-19 Cyber Threats

Mar 23, 2020
Cyber Security

By Steven Estep


In my line of work it’s easy to become paranoid, so whenever a crisis event occurs, my brain quickly jumps from what resources our banks need to how bad actors are going to take advantage of the situation.

As more and more consumers are moving to online banking during the coronavirus pandemic, some for the first time ever, criminals are looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals.

Fraudsters and cyber criminals have an innate ability to prey on the vulnerable during a crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic is no different. From phishing emails to business email compromise-style attacks and general disinformation campaigns, criminals and bad actors will go to all sorts of lengths to make an easy buck at the expense of your customers.

They say desperate times call for desperate measures, and criminals know full well that when the public is panicked people are distracted and more likely to act without thinking. Just take a look at some of the various criminal campaigns and scams bad actors have used to exploit the pandemic thus far:

While community banks will remain a pillar of strength for their communities, I know they will also do everything possible to protect their institutions and customers from criminals who hide among the chaos of the pandemic.

ICBA has many resources to help protect your bank during this crisis. For specific COVID-19 resources, visit our Crisis Preparedness webpage. For cyber-specific resources, our Cyber and Data Security Toolkit offers information on key industry resources such as Sheltered Harbor and .Bank as well as best practices to protect your community bank from cyberthreats.

Consider also proactively reaching out to your customers so they know exactly what they can and cannot expect from your community bank in the next few months. Let your customers know what information you might have to ask them for. More importantly, let them know what information you will never ask them via email or phone.


Steven Estep is ICBA director of operational risk.

CARES Act FAQ

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help struggling small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriates $349 billion for this purpose.

ICBA will continue working to ensure you have the facts and the latest resources to help your customers. For more information about the PPP and other important news, visit out Community Bank COVID-19 FAQs. 

For more information and updates, visit Treasury.gov/CARES and 
SBA.gov/PayCheckProtection.


 Jump to an FAQ Topic

Essential Business Management Resources

The following guidance from DHS CISA and the US Department of the Treasury identifies financial services sector works as essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 emergency.

Banks are advised by regulators to provide a paper copy of the following documents for all employees who will be remaining at work:

For more information, please note FDIC FIL-25-2020 and OCC Bulletin 2020-23


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Upcoming Webinars

Crisis Response
Apr
09
April 09 - April 09, 2020
April 09, 2020
ICBA Community Bank Briefing #5: COVID-19 Regulatory Update & Q&A
Event Type: Webinar

Webinar Recordings

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Mar
19
March 19 - March 19, 2020
March 19, 2020
Webinar: ICBA Community Bank Briefing #1: ICBA Community Bank Briefing - COVID-19 Pandemic
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Mar
25
March 25 - March 25, 2020
March 25, 2020
Webinar: Preparing the Bank for the Economic Downturn
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Crisis Response
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25
March 25 - March 25, 2020
March 25, 2020
Webinar: Coronavirus in the Workplace
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Communications Resources for Community Banks

ICBA offers the following customizable news releases that community banks can distribute to media in their communities to reassure consumers amid the coronavirus outbreak. The custom documents spotlight the safety and soundness of the banking system and deposit insurance while showcasing the strength and resiliency of the community banking industry.

ICBA Release on FDIC Insurance

Help consumers to rest assured that their Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insured deposits are safe in their community bank, while offering coverage tips.

ICBA Release on Safety of FDIC Deposits

Remind community banking customers that their insured deposits are safe and backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government through the FDIC.

ICBA Release on Community Closeness

Let consumers know community banks are here to serve the needs of their customers and communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Coronavirus Preparedness for Employers and Employees

Access below a free online course that will tell you simple steps you can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Bank Service Provider Resources

Looking for More?

If there are any other areas you would like to see
covered, email us at
crisisresponse@icba.org

FS-ISAC COVID-19
Sprint Exercise

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Natural Disaster Preparedness

Regional Preparedness & Response Coalitions

Regional partnerships have formed across the United States to focus on homeland security and emergency management issues with the public sector.

These public/private partnerships formed originally within the banking/finance sector, but several have developed into multi-sector coalitions.

RPCfirst, the Regional Partnership Council, is an umbrella organization formed to foster collaboration among these organizations.

View a List of the Regional Coalitions

Visit the National Hurricane Week Preparedness Website

 Learn how to:

  • Determine your risk
  • Develop an Evacuation Plan
  • Assemble Disaster Supplies
  • Get an Insurance Checkup
  • Strengthen your Home
  • Help Your Neighbor
  • Complete a Written Plan

After Action Reports

Lessons from the past:

Agility Crisis Prep

Use the Hurricane Tabletop Exercise

This downloadable Tabletop Exercise (TTX) developed by FEMA’s Office of External Affairs and FEMA’s National Exercise Division, is an interactive exercise complete with accompanying facilitator’s notes and scripted video injects. This exercise is based on the National Planning Scenario for a major hurricane developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the federal interagency community.

Sheltered Harbor

The Sheltered Harbor initiative provides proactive, rapid restoration of customer account data after a cyberattack. Sheltered Harbor combines proactive, secure data storage with a cooperative recovery plan to get your customers through a major cyberattack faster than you would on your own. It is an industry-led organization, structured as a not-for-profit LLC and operated as a subsidiary of the FS-ISAC.

More Information


Consumer & Business Response Center


How to Help Prepare for a Hurricane

Find tools and advice from Travelers as your bank prepares for hurricanes.

Disasters are unpredictable and can be devastating to a community. But there is a lot your bank can do to help prepare your customers for these events.

Help consumers prepare for a natural disaster by sharing these tips:

  • Store important documents such as proof of identity, property ownership, insurance policies, bank and investment account information, and three years of tax returns in a bank safe-deposit box. Encase these items in plastic bags to prevent moisture.
  • Prepare additional copies of critical documents such as birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage licenses and the deed to your home for safekeeping and inform a trustee, relative or attorney of their location.
  • Print out key contact information for executors, trustees and guardians and store it in a secure location, either in your safe-deposit box or with a close relative.
  • Inventory personal and household valuables (take photos and keep receipts) to help evaluate replacement costs.
  • Include surplus cash, preferably small bills, in your home emergency kit. The kit should also include a three-day supply of food and water, a first aid kit, can opener, radio, flashlights and batteries.
  • Create digital copies, which can serve as a supplement or backup to paper documents.  Scanned or electronic documents can be uploaded with secure online backup services.
  • Contact your insurance agent or visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website to determine if a flood insurance policy is right for you.



ICBA News Releases

Title Publication Date
Paycheck Protection Program State Banking Association Letter Letters to Regulators 04/02/20
ICBA Letter To Treasury-SBA Regarding Concerns With Paycheck Protection Program Letters to Regulators 04/01/20
Community Banks Remain Shining Stars For Customers and Communities Press Release 04/01/20
ICBA-Advocated Measures in Congress-Passed Coronavirus Stimulus Press Release 03/27/20
Several ICBA-Advocated Measures Included in Coronavirus Stimulus Deal Press Release 03/25/20

ICBA Letters

Title Recipient Date
Treasury, SBA
04/04/2020
Treasury, SBA
04/02/2020
Treasury, SBA
04/01/2020
FCC
03/31/2020
Fed, FDIC, OCC, CFPB
03/30/2020
116th Congress
03/26/2020
U.S. Small Business Administration
03/25/2020
Federal Reserve
03/24/2020
Governors
03/24/2020
Financial Accounting Standards Board
03/23/2020
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
03/23/2020
House, Senate leaders
03/21/2020
Rep. Maxine Waters
03/20/2020
President Donald Trump
03/19/2020
116th Congress
03/18/2020
116th Congress
03/18/2020
U.S. Senate
03/17/2020
President Donald Trump
03/17/2020
116th Congress
03/17/2020
Sen. Kevin Cramer
03/17/2020