Study says credit unions in hackers’ firing line

A leading managed security service provider (MSSP) in the financial sector announced today that it found credit unions were more likely than traditional banks to be attacked by hackers and malicious users.

Based on a survey of attacks against its 1,100 financial customers in the past year, SecureWorks found that credit unions suffered 67 percent more internet-based attacks than banks.

On average, SecureWorks blocks 767 attacks per day per credit union client. That is nearly two attacks per minute, according to the study.  

Jon Ramsey, SecureWorks chief technology officer, said that the research should dispel smaller financial organizations' misconceptions that they aren't likely to be targeted by hackers. 

"We hear many credit union prospects say they can't imagine a hacker would want to target them because they are small," said Ramsey.  "Unfortunately, it is a mistake for any financial institution to think that they are safe because of their size."  

Yet, large banks are still most at risk for targeted attacks. The SecureWorks study found that banks with over $500 million in assets block 968 attacks per day. Those with between $100 million and $500 million fend off 285 attacks per day, while those with under $100 million in assets typically only get 85 attacks per day.  

Ramsey said that the numbers show that no matter the size of the organization, it needs to provide continuous protection against daily attacks. 

"Instead of assuming your financial organization will never be targeted, the evidence suggests that it is safe to assume that it will be attacked," he said. "Success lies in the preparation taken before the attack."

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