WASHINGTON (10/3/14)--The Credit Union National Association has launched a national action alert on data breaches, as well as an extensive toolkit of resources for credit unions to use in communicating the message "stop the data breaches."
CUNA's most recent action on the data breach issue include launching a new informational website, a social media campaign urging improved policy and other outreach efforts to work to stop the data breaches and their harmful effects on credit unions and their members.
"Our message," CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said in a Thursday letter to credit unions, "Congress must stop the data breaches by mandating consistent data security standards for merchants." Nussle adds that the CUNA action alert is a unique opportunity to shape the cybersecurity debate going forward.
Credit unions are held to strict data standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and CUNA is urging Congress to hold merchants to the same standards. A survey conducted in February by CUNA showed that 74% of respondents favor making merchants bear the costs of fraudulent use and reissuing credit and debit cards.
The Identity Theft Resource Center estimates that more than 500 data breaches have occurred this year, exposing more than 75 million data records. According to CUNA data, the Target breach alone resulted in credit unions reissuing approximately 4.6 million credit and debit cards at a cost of $30.6 million.
CUNA has launched StopTheDataBreaches.com, which highlights the impact on credit unions of the merchant-associated data breaches and offers a link to contact lawmakers to urge action.
In addition, CUNA's advocacy Twitter account (@CUNAadvocacy) and Facebook page will provide updates on data breaches and cybersecurity issues. Also, CUNA asks stakeholders to use the social media hashtag #StoptheBreaches to spread the message.
CUNA's additional ongoing efforts have included: a letter to the president requesting that the administration establish a Cybersecurity Council; providing the first quantitative analysis of the costs of a data breach on credit unions; canvassing Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to force merchants to meet strict data security standards, and; calling on merchant groups to work with financial institutions to implement solutions.
CUNA is currently investigating the cost of the Home Depot breach, the largest merchant breach in history, with a survey to credit unions with debit and credit card services. Access the survey in the resource links below.
Also, use the resource links to access the data breach website and action alert and click on the short, embedded video above to hear CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan discuss the data breach problem.