5 Credit Union Data Breach Management Tips

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in News |

Article by: Adam Levin Originally published by: Credit Union Times  Identity theft has become a rite of passage for both enterprises and individuals. For credit unions, making the right decisions about breaches and identity theft can protect reputations and save time and money better spent on growing the world of possibilities for your members. A wrong decision can mean extinction. Credit union members often enjoy a huge advantage over customers at larger financial institutions because of the member-centric way you do business. A great way to enhance member acquisition and retention efforts, as well as build goodwill, is to provide free access to meaningful credit and identity theft education, transactional monitoring programs and high touch resolution services. While your competitors in the banking world offer like services to their customers, few – if any – provide them at no cost. In fact, most charge a great deal for monitoring products that are long on bells and whistles and short on services. Just ask the OCC. That said, your competitive advantage and goodwill can vanish, and the financial viability of your organization be jeopardized, if you don’t adequately secure member and employee data or fail to respond to a breach with urgency, transparency and empathy. Here are five ways your credit union can add value for your members, as individuals as well as stakeholders, by minimizing risk, monitoring systems and having a proper damage control program in place.   1. Identity Theft Education While identity theft really no longer is an “if” in any respect, too many people still don’t believe it is the “when” crime. You can add serious value for your members, and better protect your community, by providing tools and content, and teaching personal information hygiene. The victimization of any employee or member can provide a gateway for an identity thief into the organization thereby exposing all stakeholders to losses. The better you educate your members to the warning signs of identity theft and the personal and community dangers inherent in victimization, the more inclined people will be to say something if they see something and understand what it is.   2. Monitoring and Damage Control In a world awash in data due to unwitting or purposeful over-sharing on social networks and breaches that have exposed more than one billion files containing personal identifying information to hackers and identity thieves, the ability to quickly detect victimization and have access to a dedicated fraud expert can mean the difference between an unpleasant personal experience and a life disrupting event. Credit union members have jobs to do and families to raise and support. They have neither the time nor the expertise to know what is happening to their data as it...

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Employee Benefits: Broker vs. Carrier Consolidation

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Benefits Update, News |

As with every small employer group, credit unions are not exempt from the challenges of providing affordable health insurance options for their employees and families.  Additionally, the ongoing changes under the Affordable Care Act have made it vastly harder for HR managers to clearly state what their healthcare plans provide in a way that’s easy for employees to understand. These challenges, paired with the recent message from auditors and legal counsel suggesting credit unions consolidate third-party vendors for both member and employee programs have made it more important than ever for credit unions to understand the difference between employee benefits broker and carrier relationships. Our goal is to provide some clarity on the subject as well as highlight the resources that are presently available through Insurance Trust to help reduce the administrative burdens of third party carrier/broker relationships.   Broker Consolidation Consolidation of benefits brokers means that you will simply have one point of contact who can handle all of your benefits needs.  This allows your credit union to be covered by multiple insurance carriers (or companies) with plans that best fit your insurance needs and budget.  Having a single broker also means that one call or email is all that you need to enroll new hires, change addresses or dependents, or terminate employees.  Your point of contact can also confirm which coverages an employee is enrolled in, answer questions regarding claims that sometimes cross between coverages, such as medical and disability insurance and can alert you of any gaps in coverage.   Carrier Consolidation Consolidating your employee benefits plan with one carrier (or company) for your medical, dental, life, disability, EAP, and voluntary coverage doesn’t necessarily make financial sense.  The reason being that most carriers specialize in or have better networks or service in different types of insurance.  Another consideration is that consolidating your benefits with one carrier could leave your credit union in a tough position in the event that a carrier decides to exit the market on a particular plan or you become dissatisfied with their service or claims handling.  Although many coverages tend to pair together, for example dental and vision or life and disability insurance, that doesn’t mean that having one carrier is always what is best for your needs.  The distinct advantage to having an insurance broker as opposed to working directly with a single insurance company is that a broker can help you navigate the various carriers at any point of change.  Furthermore, a single broker can provide many options with simplified administration, so you don’t have to worry about the HR details; you can just pick up the phone.   Insurance Trust Employee Benefits Facts Insurance Trust works with all major...

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