The OGO Blog

Will The Internet of Things (IoT) Affect Credit Unions?

Robbie Wright and John Szeglin, two Senior vCIOs at Ongoing Operations recently sat down to discuss an increasingly popular topic: The Internet of Things (IoT). This post dives into what exactly the Internet of Things is and how IoT impacts your Credit Union.

It is exciting to see so many new and innovative technologies coming to market. We have seen tremendous growth in internet-connected products over the past few years, and while there are many advantages in using these new gadgets, there are also underlying risks that must be evaluated before you begin using this new technology.

Watch the Full Video Here:

What is The Internet of Things?

Frist, let’s discuss what we mean when we say the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is the idea of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet (and/or to other devices). Examples of these devices on the consumer side include:

  • Thermostats
  • Amazon Echo
  • Coffee Makers
  • Webcams
  • Smart Cars
  • Home Security System
  • Smart Light Switches & Similar Home Automation Gadgets

What Does This Mean For My Credit Union?

The Internet of Things doesn’t stop at your door step. Credit Unions have their own Internet of Things (group of devices) on their network. Two popular examples of this are:

  • IP Connected Cameras
  • Serial to IP Converters

In the past several months, two large camera manufacturers, Hikvision and Axis, reported serious bugs that allowed attackers to reset cameras and gain access to view footage. This resulted in a major privacy, confidentiality, and cyber security concern. Your Credit Union has to keep potential threats and incidents such as this top of mind.

Privacy, confidentiality, and cyber security concerns are no longer limited to computers. If your Credit Union has devices that have IP addresses and are connected to the internet, then you need to be aware of how these devices can expose you to internet hacking threats.

What Do I Do About This Threat?

Throughout Ongoing Operations’ work in the field, it has seen that many Credit Unions have a policy on these devices to just leave them as they are. There are two major problems with that policy.

  1. These devices need to be patched
  2. These devices need to be monitored

The next time your Credit Union is performing an internal risk assessment scan of the network, at a minimum, your Credit Union needs to recognize these devices are a potential way for hackers to jump into different areas of your network. Then, your Credit Union must look at the risk factors in play and determine if the risk is high enough to warrant the addition of another vendor, technology, etc.

Newer technologies have the potential to offer us a better quality of life at home and at the office. However, it is imperative that we determine how each of these technologies will personally impact our privacy, confidentiality, and security. It is essential that Credit Unions recognize IoT connected devices, evaluate the risks, and determine an appropriate policy.

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