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Disasters, Security, Product Speed Rounds Highlight Councils' Confab
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (9/24/13)--Disaster preparation, security and productivity, and new products were highlighted Monday during a joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council in Hollywood, Calif.

The conferences opened Sunday and continue through Wednesday.

"You can't realistically prepare for every possible type of disaster, so you prepare for the most likely worst-case scenario," Rich Griesser,  vice president of information technology (IT) for Hughes FCU in Tucson, Ariz., told attendees Monday morning.
It's important to differentiate business continuity planning from disaster recovery, Griesser said. Business continuity planning is about recovering all your services whereas disaster recovery is about your IT systems and functions.
Click to view larger image MShift's Andrea Robles and Jeff Chen demonstrated their AnywhereMobile mobile banking app at the joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council Monday morning. MShift was one of five technology companies selected to make seven-minute presentations in Monday's "speed round."
"Our goal was to build a disaster recovery center with sufficient capacity to support all mission-critical applications," said Griesser. "Our course of action was to identify needs, understand risks, assess criticality of data and apps, assess impact of hardware failures and downtime, and assess methods of recovery.
"Once I had a plan to achieve our goal, I had to present it to the board and senior leadership," he said. "I explained that our disaster recovery center would need to be an extension of our operating environment and it had to be ready at all times. I told them to think of it as a secondary branch that could process all transactions and serve all members--and that it wouldn't be cheap."
Griesser recommended being upfront with senior leadership on what it's going to take to be successful. "Anticipate your hardware, communications, cooling requirements and power needs, and understand all of the interdependencies between your systems," he said.
Click to view larger image's Richard Williams and Darren Suprina demonstrate the company's Stonesoft intrusion-detection system and anti-evasion technology during Monday's seven-minute "speed round" presentation at the joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council. (Photos provided by CUNA)
In a second morning session, Andrew Jaquith, chief technology officer with SilverSky, delivered this message: Security and productivity are usually diametrically opposed to each other.
"Most organizations think about security considerations first and then they think about how that might affect productivity," he said. "Rarely does an organization think about how security and productivity might reinforce each other."
To help security and productivity fit well together, Jaquith offered these recommendations about security measures:
  • Make sure they don't interrupt workflow or unintentionally impose performance penalties.
  • Build sensible defaults into them that fit 90% of the cases.
  • Make sure security features blend into the environment so well that they're almost invisible.
  • Security features should contain opt-out features rather than opt-in features.
Also, five technology companies were selected to give seven-minute presentations in Monday morning's "speed round." The demonstrations included:
  1. MoneyDesktop's Shane Mount and Alec Gustafson, demonstrating its Insight and Target enhancements to its personal financial management program. The enhancements help consumers measure progress toward their personal financial goals and help credit unions track the success of their share-of-wallet initiatives.
  1. MShift's Andrea Robles and Jeff Chen, with their AnywhereMobile mobile banking.To encourage adoption of its m-banking app, MShift offers incentives to all participants in the transaction--members, merchants and credit unions. Members receive discounts on their purchases, merchants benefit from lower interchange fees, and credit unions reduce their transaction costs, said Chen.
  1.'s Richard Williams and Darren Suprina, with their company's Stonesoft intrusion-detection system and anti-evasion technology. The software detects "disguises," which is an emerging form of cyberattack, said Suprina.
  1. Digital Insight's Jeff Lauterer, who discussed the company's payments app for small businesses. The app helps credit unions' small-business members track their payments and receipts, and keep their books organized for tax purposes.
  1. MaaS360 by Fiberlink's Clint Adams, who talked about his company's mobile data management product that lets employees access company data from personal devices. Adams said research indicates that half of all employers will demand their employees to participate in bring-your-own-device programs in the near future. "Credit unions are faced with the challenge of providing access to their internal data on devices they don't own," he said.
Credit Union Magazine's Steve Rodgers is at the conference. Watch for updates in Credit Union Magazine and News Now this week.  See also related story, Tech/Ops Council Speaker: Business Decision-making 'Flawed,' in today's News Now.

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