March 21, 2013 – Lawmakers should address data protection in connection with any legislation addressing cyber-attacks on small businesses – attacks that can and have been used to further terrorism and other crimes, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler told a House subcommittee Wednesday.
Credit unions "are acutely aware of the value of reputation in the marketplace," and that reputation can be devastated by a cyber-attack compromising consumer data.
– NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler in a letter to lawmakers for today's hearing
Writing in advance of today’s House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology hearing on protecting small businesses against emerging and complex cyber-attacks, Thaler said credit unions, as small businesses, “are acutely aware of the value of reputation in the marketplace. Now more than ever it is important for small businesses to take proper action to ensure that their reputations remain intact.”
"A breach from a cyber-attack resulting in the compromise of consumer data is a growing threat and can devastate a business's reputation," Thaler said in his letter to subcommittee Chairman Chris Collins, R-N.Y., and Ranking Member Janice Hahn, D-Calif.
When credit union members’ account and nonpublic identifying information is exposed, credit unions pay the costs through charge-offs of fraud-related losses, reissuance of cards and other assistance to help members’ repair their accounts. Thaler said these breaches increasingly are due to the negligence or illegal maintenance of data by merchants and other third parties.
Thaler, in his letter, reiterated NAFCU’s recommendations for strengthening data security and urged their inclusion in any bill addressing cybersecurity and data security issues.