Creating a culture of security must start at the top.
Combating fraud is not an isolated activity but one that should involve everyone at the credit union, starting with a commitment from the board, the CEO and the leadership team.
“For credit unions to combat fraud effectively, I believe it’s important to create a culture of security,” says Chris Sachse, CIE, CEO of CUES Supplier member Think|Stack, Baltimore. It “has to start at the top with a leadership team that takes it seriously. More and more, we’re seeing consumers select companies based on how seriously they take data security and privacy. This is where credit unions have an opportunity to say, ‘We are here to protect your data,’ and that can become a real competitive advantage for them.”
Kimberly Sutherland, VP/fraud and identity strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Atlanta, advises creating an organization-wide culture dedicated to preventing fraud. “Fraud prevention should a responsibility for all employees,” she says. “That would include the IT, operations and marketing teams, as well as the fraud or risk professionals. It’s increasingly becoming a matter of having everyone come to the table, leveraging their different perspectives to resolve fraud risk, and ensure that they strengthen their processes across the board.”
Certainly, many credit unions have embraced the idea of taking an organization-wide approach to combating fraud. At $850 million Christian Financial Credit Union in Detroit, President/CEO Patty Campbell reports that all 170 employees have a role to play in the organization’s anti-fraud efforts. “We do monthly trainings, especially in the digital space, making sure all of our employees are diligent in reporting to our security team whenever they see something amiss,” says Campbell, a CUES member.
The same approach holds true at $1.2 billion The Summit Federal Credit Union in Rochester, New York. “It takes a village to combat fraud,” says CUES member Shawn Gaffney, fraud prevention supervisor. “A lot of our success lies with having our staff be aware of the potential for fraud and knowing how to respond to help us in our efforts.” cues icon
Based in Missouri, Diane Franklin is a longtime contributor to Credit Union Management magazine.