Posted by Molly King, Senior Marketing Manager, FTSI on 12/30/2019

Proper security at your branches should never be underestimated. Distributing multiple sets of keys can be a major risk putting your branch and business in jeopardy. Once you hand off sets, there is an increased risk for those keys to be lost or stolen.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to securely manage all key access. With a remote-controlled smart lockbox, you can easily maximize security at your branch by storing keys and access cards in one centralized location with complete control of personnel accessing the smart lockbox. In addition to decreasing downtime with lost keys, a smart lockbox is attack resistant and easy to install. With wireless access through a mobile app, you can receive a real-time audit trail of activity to reduce risks and provide secure vendor access.

Eliminate Travel to Rekey or Reprogram Locks
Traditional lock-and-key systems can create significant overhead costs, particularly at remote sites. Vendors and staff normally have to travel to rekey locks, which is time-consuming and expensive, and physical keys pose a security risk when employees or vendors leave the company. Programmable locks require travel to the site to add or delete keyholders and often limit the number of codes available. But by installing a smart lockbox, you can control and monitor site access for multiple remote sites, all from one central location.

Mitigate risks by limiting branch keys
With keys stored in one on-site location, you are always in control of key access. The need to hand out multiple sets of keys will be eliminated, thus mitigating the risk for lost or stolen keys.

Increase vendor accountability
Having the ability to monitor remote activity in real time will help you know whether or not service technicians have accessed your site and allow you to view exactly when service technicians accessed your facilities.

Eliminate need to escort vendors
Eliminate the added expensive of arranging for site access for vendors, by simply authorizing access for them remotely. You will be able to save time and expenses for yourself and your staff by not having to pay a staff member to be present for granting vendor access.

Authenticate remote intrusion alarms
False alarms can be an increased security risk if they become a regular occurrence, the importance of an alarm sounding can often be overlooked. The smart lockbox system can eliminate false alarms by preventing the intrusion alarm from sounding when someone with valid credentials accesses the remote site and stops an invalid alarm condition from being sent.?

Contact FTSI at to learn more about the smart lockbox solution.

Categories: Business Partners, Sales & Service, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by Justin Lutes, AAP, NCP, Vice President, Correspondent Services, Catalyst Corporate FCU on 12/19/2019

In 2018, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 20,373 Business Email Compromise (BEC)/Email Account Compromise (EAC) complaints with adjusted losses of more than $1.2 billion. This was the largest IC3-reported loss category by $900 million, and the number of complaints and loss amounts have been increasing each year.

What is Business Email Compromise and Email Account Compromise?

BEC/EAC is a scam that targets both businesses and individuals performing wire transfer payments. The scam is frequently carried out when a subject compromises legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds.

BECInitial BEC/EAC scams involved hacking or spoofing the email accounts of chief executive officers or chief financial officers. Fraudulent emails requested wire payments be sent to fraudulent locations. The scam has continued to evolve, resulting in compromised personal and vendor emails, spoofed lawyer emails, requests for W-2 information and targeting of the real estate sector.

In 2018, the IC3 received an increase in the number of BEC/EAC complaints requesting victims purchase gift cards. The victims received a spoofed email, a spoofed phone call or a spoofed text from a person in authority, requesting the victim purchase multiple gift cards for either personal or business reasons.

While the specifics vary from case to case, there are five main scenarios for this scam:

  1. Business Working with a Supplier – a business that has a longstanding relationship with a supplier is asked to wire funds for an invoice payment to an alternate, fraudulent account.
  2. Business Executive Receiving or Initiating a Request for a Wire Transfer – a request for a wire transfer is spoofed from a high-level business executive to a second employee within the company who is typically responsible for processing these requests.
  3. Business Contacts Receiving Fraudulent Correspondence through Compromised Email – requests for invoice payments to a fraudster-controlled bank account is sent from an employee’s spoofed or hacked personal email to vendors identified from the employee’s contact list.
  4. Business Executive and Attorney Impersonation – fraudsters identify themselves as representatives of law firms and claim to be handling confidential or time-sensitive matters and request a transfer of funds.
  5. Data Theft – fraudulent requests are sent using a business executive’s compromised email to HR, bookkeeping or auditing asking for W-2 forms or personally identifiable information (PII).

What can be done?

The FBI offers a few tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Be suspicious of requests for secrecy or to take action quickly
  • Always confirm wire requests, and if the request is made by email, confirm with the person making the request via a channel other than email
  • Exercise caution with a sudden change in business practices, such as a request to send a wire to a personal email instead of the usual business email address
  • Scrutinize all email requests for anything out of the ordinary, such as a new vendor payment location
  • Do not feel pressured to send a wire

One thing is certain. BEC/EAC will continue to take different shapes, as scammers become more sophisticated. Businesses with an increased awareness and understanding of the scam are more likely to recognize when they have been targeted by fraudsters and to avoid falling victim by sending them payments. Businesses that deploy robust internal prevention techniques at all levels – especially for front line employees who may be the recipients of initial phishing attempts – have proven highly successful in recognizing and deflecting BEC/EAC attempts.

See the full IC3 2018 Internet Crime Report here.

Categories: Compliance, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by Mr. Anil Sharma, Marketing Manager, CO-OP Financial Services on 12/12/2019

As we approach a new decade, one can only speculate what it will hold for the future of credit unions and the financial services industry. Now is the time for bold thinking and for re-evaluating every aspect of your business to ensure you will remain your members’ primary financial relationship.

THINK 20, taking place May 4-7, 2020 at the Omni Dallas Hotel, will be your opportunity to gather the knowledge and resources needed to grow your credit union in 2020 and beyond. If you haven’t already, register by January 3 and take advantage of our $799 discount code (CornerstoneTHINK20) for Cornerstone-affiliated credit unions (note: Cornerstone promo rate increases to $999 on January 4).

Here are 3 reasons to attend THINK 20:

  1. Be Inspired by Innovative Thinkers & Industry Titans

At THINK 20, you’ll hear insights from thought leaders both inside and outside the credit union industry, such as:

  • Rana el Kaliouby - CEO of Affectiva, an emotion measurement technology company grown out of MIT’s Media lab. El Kaliouby is one of the leading minds in the field of facial expression recognition technology and will share her thoughts on how to recognize human emotions and weave that into your business strategy.
  • Francesca Gino – author, behavioral scientist and Harvard Business School professor. Gino will share findings from her award-winning research on why people make the decisions they do at work, and how leaders and employees can lead more productive, creative and fulfilling lives.
  • Scott Belsky - Chief Product Officer of Adobe Creative Cloud. Belsky will discuss how to achieve bold initiatives and overcome the obstacles that separate vision from reality.

  1. Gather Hands-on Strategies You can Activate NOW

In addition to keynote presentations, THINK 20 will offer breakout sessions called “Power Sprints” designed to help connect big picture ideas with real-world strategies. You’ll have the opportunity to choose between a variety of interactive presentations on everything from data strategy to business growth trends and the member experience.

To dive even further into these topics, we’ll be offering 90-minute Master Classes led by industry experts that will provide you and your team with the knowledge and resources needed to activate your next big idea.

  1. Build Relationships with Over 800 Credit Union Professionals

In keeping with the cooperative spirit of the credit union movement, THINK 20 will give you plenty of opportunities to connect with credit union professionals at every level that can help you grow. CO-OP’s leadership will also be onsite and we’ll have 1:1 Advisor sessions available throughout the conference where you can sit down with a CO-OP subject-matter expert and discuss specific strategies or challenges at your credit union.

Don’t miss out on the credit union industry’s most talked-about conference. Learn more about THINK 20 and save $1,200 off the registration rate by using the promo code CornerstoneTHINK20 before January 3.

Categories: Business Partners, Education & Training, Strategic Planning & Consulting
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