It often falls on the board of a credit union to make some of the organization’s toughest decisions, including lending approvals, write offs, and leadership reviews. They often make decisions based on sensitive personal information like credit scores and networth, or information on loans in arrears. If that information is somehow leaked, it can spark an investigation from financial regulators and cause members to question the credit union’s security and governance. Don’t underestimate the value of financial information, either; in 2014, UK bank Barclays came under intense scrutiny after information belonging to 27,000 customers was leaked. “Rogue brokers” sold the information to fraudsters who take the information to persuade their victims over cold calls to invest money into schemes, one of which included investing in metals that had been made up.
As a credit union board administrator, you are accountable for the privacy of your members’ sensitive financial information and you need to strike a balance between security and convenience when it comes to sharing important file information with directors. Email is one of the riskiest ways to distribute information and it is constantly prone to leaks and hackers; even if you send documents through a secure HTTPS connection, there is no guarantee that the recipient will open it securely, and they may also download it to their device.
Free file-sharing services require users who are comfortable with using the service and even then, you’re putting your trust in their servers (which may put your information in the jurisdiction of foreign legislation). The third option, building your own file-sharing system, is a huge investment of IT resources that could be better spent elsewhere, and they are not ideal for disaster recovery plans. What happens to your sensitive information, stored in a server in your offices, in the event of a natural disaster or a threat to the premises?
One solution that’s easy-to-use and secure is board portals; the board software company Aprio works with organizations of all sizes and in a variety of industries, including crown corporations, not-for-profits, publicly traded companies, and financial institutions like credit unions. Their portal, like any that you should consider implementing, keeps documents within the portal, while still making them accessible offline. They also use home country servers, whether you’re located in the United States or Canada, so that you understand the legislation regulating your organization’s most sensitive information. Find out more about how a board portal can combine convenience with security at Aprio.net and start making a list of the features your organization can’t live without.
While security is likely the bottom line on your “must-have” list, a board portal company can also provide a lot more, such as round-the-clock customer service with real support agents and one-on-one training. Quarterly webinars from Aprio are also part of an ongoing training program that keeps directors on top of new features and developments in the software. In order for directors to effectively make decisions, they need software that’s easy to use and easy to keep secure; risking a leak of sensitive information is not an option. As a board administrator, it’s up to you to source the portal that does the job.