news.cuna.org/articles/'Bad_guys'_will_always_be_there:_Calif_CU_CEO_panel

'Bad guys' will always be there: Calif. CU CEO panel

March 23, 2015

TUSTIN, Calif. (3/24/15)--Data breaches and those who perpetrate them are on the minds of credit union leaders nationwide. That includes the three CEOs who took part in a panel discussion on cybersecurity during a California Credit Union League Orange County Chapter meeting recently in Tustin, Calif.

Adam Denbo, managing consultant for Samaha Associates, left, moderates a panel discussion among Bill Cheney, president/CEO, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana; Dave Gunderson, president/CEO, Credit Union of Southern California, Anaheim; and Jon Hernandez, president/CEO of three small credit unions located in Southern California. (California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues Photo)

The panelists, Bill Cheney, president/CEO, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana; Dave Gunderson, president/CEO, Credit Union of Southern California, Anaheim; and Jon Hernandez, president/CEO of three small credit unions in Southern California, each presented remarks on the state of data security as it relates to the credit union movement (CU Weekly March 19).

In their eyes, it seems, danger lurks around every corner.

Technology and security-related risks "keep my board of directors up at night," said Gunderson, who added that he believed every credit union represented in the room would be hacked within the next five to 10 years.

"The goal is how fast you can respond," Gunderson said. "You will be hacked, it's only a matter of time."

Cheney spoke about the perils his credit union has faced over the past year, including the fact that the Target and Home Depot breaches alone cost SchoolsFirst $700,000--and that the credit union experienced a 65% jump in card fraud in 2014.

"At some point every day, people are trying to hack our credit unions," said Cheney, who served as president/CEO of CUNA from 2010 to 2014. "At SchoolsFirst we are heavily invested in defending against this."

Hernandez, president/CEO of CalCom FCU, Torrance; Mattel FCU, El Segundo; and Nikkei CU, Gardena, touched on the difficulty smaller credit unions often have in grappling with data security.

"We don't have as much control on our end as we'd like," Hernandez said. "The bad guys are always one step ahead, and there's not an affordable solution. We're doing the best we can with the tools we have."