p1b3i4hm4u1bpe1cqhmcooeb1jld6.jpg
Looking to make that special IT person in your life happy this holiday season? Anything related to cybersecurity is probably a good bet.

For the 15th consecutive year, Credit Union Journal asked IT execs from credit unions and credit union service organizations (CUSO) around the nation to share what technologies would make their respective 2017 more joyful and productive. Assuming they were all on the "nice list," here are their wishes.

p1b3i4hm4vn3r1hh4rte15rt1tkp7.jpg
Wish: A Security IT Silver Bullet
If Blackhawk Community Credit Union's Vice President of IT Richard Borden had one professional wish it would be an affordable "silver bullet" to meet IT security needs in a "holistic" manner.

"An overarching filter, scrubber or communications/connection broker, something that can centrally analyze not only the connections but also the content, from workstations, mobile devices and up the food chain, with low false positives and without business disruption, would be ideal," said Borden.

The $433 million Janesville, Wisc.-based Blackhawk Community CU supports 150 employees, eight of which are IT, 45,000 members and eight branch locations.

While Borden remains optimistic that the security industry will continually evolve and innovate systems and offerings, he said the likelihood that his wish is realized and deployed in 2017 is low.

"No silver bullet was ever promised," said Borden. "With a preponderance of challenges comes the increased responsibility to govern, control, educate, audit and build/run systems from a security perspective from the top down and back up again."

p1b3i4hm4va32umdc53skq1s6e8.jpg
Wish: Be a Step Ahead of Fraudsters
With 89,000 members, Kemba Financial Credit Union's Vice President of Technology Kevin Russo wishes for an "algorithm" or "technology" that would position financial institutions, specifically credit unions, ahead of security breaches and hackers.

"I find I am spending more and more time and money on putting security measures in place yet realize that I am behind what those nefarious people are thinking of and planning," said Russo. "It's one of the most frustrating parts of my job, yet the most important because of how an incident would affect my members."

Supporting 250 employees, 10 of which are IT, at 10 branch locations, Russo concedes that his wish is a long shot; however, that doesn't mean he doesn't hold out hope.

"I am encouraged and evaluating the technology being used by companies such as Cylance and Sophos," said Russo. "Using software coding behavior analytics to determine if there is an additional payload that would compromise information or security in some way [would be a good thing]."

p1b3i4hm6a561s631ok3pvgomv9.jpg
Wish: Faster, Better Integration
PSCU's Chief Information Security Officer Dave Stafford's holiday wish centers on giving credit unions a more competitive edge against big banks.

"My wish for 2017 is that core processors, online banking and mobile providers, and all other service providers to the credit union industry would drop the competitive and financial barriers around integration and allow similar products and services to be offered, which could compete with these mega-banks," said Stafford.

PSCU, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CUSO, is owned by 800 member credit unions. By tapping into the feedback from countless CU executives, Stafford said he believes his wish is getting closer to fruition every day.

"The tools already exist, and this level of integration is technically more possible now than ever before," he said. "Many of the players who have traditionally been very proprietary with their services are now allowing much more comprehensive integration to occur. Credit unions should continue to insist that their providers stay open to this level of cooperation across the industry."

p1b3i4hm7m1kunclpsdd6g1pk8a.jpg
Wish: Multi-factor Authentication
For the $170 million Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union and its 14,600 members, an accurate cross-channel authentication solution is high on the wish list.

"True multi-factor authentication implemented across all platforms based on a set of standards that makes it possible to truly know who you are dealing with, whether online or in person," said AmeriChoice FCU's Vice President of IT Thomas Ha. "No longer would it be what you know twice over, but what you know, who you are and what you have across every communications channel: voice, website, in-person, chat, email, apps, among others."

Ha concedes that he is aiming high with his wish, but feels confident that there will be change in this aspect of the market in the future.

"I see glimmers of hope in some industries, yet a common standard and a cross-platform and cross-channel implementation is highly unlikely in one year," said Ha. "I am an optimist and will do what I can to work toward this goal!"

Looking forward, Ha said he is keeping his eye on a few emerging technology solutions that could one day be implemented at AmeriChoice FCU. "Blockchain technology could be a possible game-changer."

p1b3i4hm9112n2r0h1afgplq1vm5b.jpg
Wish: Omni-channel Transformation
A wish is turning into reality for the $130 million Lubbock, Texas-based Texas Tech Federal Credit Union, explained Chief Operations Officer Eric Lundberg.

"Texas Tech Federal Credit Union is looking to complete its omni-channel transformation in 2017 by implementing remote lending with a personalized touch," said Lundberg. "We are exploring how to integrate two-way video conferencing through our mobile app in order to deliver a more personalized and efficient lending experience for our members."

Supporting 14,000 members at three branches, Texas Tech FCU will be in omni-channel beta trial with its third-party vendor in mid-2017.

"A key component to this project will be the use of new software built upon our current infrastructure that is used to service our interactive teller machines," said Lundberg. "By scaling existing hardware, we will deliver a differentiated and efficient product for our membership."

Tags

MORE FROM AMERICAN BANKER