Top 5 Steps for Financial Institutions to Navigate Cybersecurity and Compliance

In a recent podcast episode, Jami Jennings, VisiFI’s Vice President of Digital Product Management and Member Experience, sat down with Joseph Kirkpatrick, Founder and President of  KirkpatrickPrice, to discuss the cybersecurity challenges facing financial institutions today. Tune in here

The episode focuses on practical steps to improve security measures. Kirkpatrick emphasizes the importance of conducting risk assessments to form a solid risk management program. It’s like knowing your enemy before going into battle, crucial for staying ahead of hackers.

But identifying risks is not enough; it’s equally important to test your defenses. Kirkpatrick suggests independent audits to ensure that your security controls are up to snuff. You wouldn’t trust a faulty lock to protect your valuables, would you?

Protecting customer data from cybercriminals is a non-negotiable priority. Kirkpatrick discusses the trust services criteria that financial institutions should implement to keep their customers’ data safe from prying eyes.

The podcast also discusses the latest tricks used by cybercriminals, including social engineering and AI-powered attacks. With the right vulnerability management program, you can keep hackers at bay and your systems running smoothly.

Vendor evaluation is highlighted as well, with a discussion on the importance of Soc2 Type2 Audits. Since your security is only as strong as your weakest link, it’s vital to consider vendor security.

We share five actionable tips to help you stay ahead of the curve in the cybersecurity arms race. From beefing up employee training to having a solid incident response plan in place, it’s all about being prepared for whatever cyber threats come your way.  If you want to level up your cybersecurity efforts, this podcast episode is a must-listen. Tune in here to learn more about protecting your assets and protecting your data and systems from the latest cyber threats.

VisiFI Security and Data Protection

In addition to our SOC 2 Type 2 certification, our holistic security approach, and advanced 24/7/365 around-the-clock risk mitigation tools, we provide the ultimate safeguard to protect your systems and data.  VisiFI uses protocols to apply the latest technology to protect both our customers and their account holders. From accessing the account to managing data within it, moving money, to protecting the entire experience from external attacks; our security applications feature the highest and most recognized security functionalities within the industry.

VisiFI’s full complement of security applications allows our customers the flexibility to design their level of protection while also balancing the convenience for online users

Four Solutions For Finding the Right Tech Partnerships

Long contracts were one of the common pain points–when a CU finds that a tech provider is misaligned with their workflows or member priorities, it’s often after months of board approvals and years before the end of a now-detrimental service contract. The panel came up with four potential solutions.

  1. Outcome-based relationships: Rather than being locked into a rigid contract, credit unions can adopt a trial-run approach and establish clear metrics for success. This way, they can confidently navigate the waters, knowing an exit strategy exists if the relationship veers off course.
  2. Performance-Based Pricing: There’s nothing worse than paying for a product that fails to produce. Executives expressed a need for a fee structure that rewards growth and performance rather than just the number of members it covers. This fee structure would incentivize better performance and provide exit ramps in the event of poor performance.
  3. Collective bargaining: Credit unions can leverage their collective wisdom to tackle industry challenges head-on. This includes shared resources, strategic partnerships, or collaborative initiatives. If one CU finds a solution that works, their shared experience can help others. High tides raise all ships.
  4. Transparency and Communication: Your tech partnership should mirror your member partnerships–there should be transparency and clear expectations at every step. From annual roadmaps to dedicated support during implementation, clear communication forms the bedrock of enduring relationships.

Small credit unions often lack the budget to attend conferences that facilitate connectivity with other credit unions. There’s a pressing need for a virtual platform where small credit unions can connect, share insights, and collaborate, regardless of geographical limitations. Finding innovative solutions and sharing those wins can help small credit unions that might otherwise be bound by third-party contracts that limit their flexibility and autonomy.

Empowering small credit unions requires a team effort from all stakeholders. Many executives are already overwhelmed with the day-to-day operational challenges, leaving little time to focus on long-term vision and growth strategies. Their tech partners should create more oxygen in their schedule, not less. By leaning into innovative solutions, virtual platforms, and collaborative approaches, credit unions can stop treading water and move toward the next version of financial relationship-building.

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Jami Jennings

VP, Digital Product Management & Member Experience