Main Street Matters ICBA Blog

Do Not be Spooked by Cyber Threats

Oct 31, 2018

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By Jeremy Dalpiaz

Gone are the days of the Nigerian prince offering a million-dollar payout in exchange for providing your bank account number. Now, the bogus request is sent from a supposed family member in need or via a social media “friend request.” Today’s cybercrime is masked in various forms and unassuming emails (cute pet videos, anyone?) as criminals look to best the system for financial gain. Just last year, 143 million U.S. consumers were victims of cybercrime, underscoring the importance of safeguards to protect against a cyberattack.

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission released an investigative report concerning a rise in business email compromises with bad actors using spoofed or compromised email accounts to trick employees into triggering wire transfers to fraudulent bank accounts.

This latest threat underscores that while there’s no foolproof preventive measure to stop any and all future threats, community banks have an arsenal of weapons to help protect customers and businesses from potential attacks.

This includes complying with all federal and state laws and rules, partnering with leading technology vendors, participating in sophisticated 24-hour networks that can spot payments fraud, and educating consumers and small businesses about measures they can take to protect against cyber threats.

It’s not just good business practice or a legal and regulatory necessity, it’s central to maintaining the public’s trust and inherent community bank relationship-based business model.

ICBA is doing its part to help community banks address this growing threat—arming our members with information, resources and partnerships to safeguard their institutions and their customers.

As an active participant in the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, ICBA helps contribute to the growing resource pool for security best practices. ICBA is also a founding member of Sheltered Harbor, an industry-led organization that provides proactive, rapid restoration of customer account data in the event of a cyberattack or other debilitating event. And let’s not forget securing your domain—.BANK offers robust and unique security features.

More on these initiatives can be found on ICBA’s new one-stop shop for cybersecurity. This newly revamped page offers helpful resources on advocacy, mitigation, training, and the breach communications front. Have an idea for our toolkit or a cybersecurity-related question? Email me at jeremy.dalpiaz@icba.org.

Devoid of a crystal ball there’s no way to accurately predict if or when the next large-scale data breach will occur, but we can heed warnings and actively develop plans to safeguard our industry and our customers’ data. As we round out Cybersecurity Awareness Month, know that ICBA and our public-private sector partners stand ready to provide you the resources you need to help protect your customers from those Nigerian princes!  

Jeremy Dalpiaz is ICBA’s vice president of cyber and data security policy.