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May 8, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Pure IT Credit Union Services Partners with Envisant

Envisant CUSO announced a partnership with Pure IT Credit Union Services to work together to offer CUs customized cybersecurity solutions, network management services, and cloud solutions.



PSCU Launches New Installment Payments Solution

PSCU has launched a new installment payments solution called "LendKey." The new solution will allow credit unions to offer their members flexible and affordable installment payment options for larger purchases, such as home improvements, medical expenses, or education costs.



Pinwheel Launches New Direct Deposit Switching Solution for CUs

Pinwheel launched a customized version of its Deposit Switch 2.0 (DDS 2.0) and Verify products specifically for CUs. The new DDS solution is designed to simplify the process of switching direct deposits for credit union members. Members can initiate the switch process directly from their CU's website or mobile app, and they claim that the process can be completed in minutes.





Hardware News


Last-Gen Ultralight Laptops Are Nearly as Fast as New Models—and More Affordable

Based on a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and Microsoft, last-generation ultralight laptops are almost as fast as newer models and come at a cheaper price. The researchers found that the last-gen models performed almost as well as the new-gen models, with only a few percentage points difference in performance. They suggest that buying last-gen models may be a cost-effective way to get a high-performance laptop at an affordable price point.



Your Decommissioned Routers Could Be a Security Disaster

One of the biggest risks associated with decommissioned routers is the potential for sensitive data to be left on the device. This could include passwords, network configurations, and other confidential information. The author recommends that organizations take steps to properly dispose of their old routers, e.g., wiping the device's memory, physically destroying the device, or working with a reputable recycling company to ensure that the device is properly disposed of.



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Software Updates


Patch Manager Action1 Adds Vulnerability Discovery, Prioritization

The patch management solution Action1 is adding new features to help users discover and prioritize vulnerabilities in their systems. Their new vulnerability discovery feature uses machine learning algorithms to scan systems and identify potential vulnerabilities. The system generates a prioritized list of vulnerabilities based on their severity and the potential impact they could have on the organization.



Generative AI Defined: How It Works, Benefits and Dangers

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that is capable of creating new content, such as images, music, and text, from scratch. Generative AI works by analyzing existing data sets and using that information to generate new content that is similar but not identical to the original data. One of the key advantages of generative AI is its ability to create new and unique content that is difficult or impossible for humans to produce. This article goes on to cover other advantages of the technology as well as the dangers and risks involved in the technology.



Microsoft Refreshes SharePoint and OneDrive with Copilot Integration

Microsoft has announced new updates to its SharePoint and OneDrive platforms that include integration with a new tool called Copilot. Copilot is an artificial intelligence-powered assistance tool that can help users with tasks such as content management, collaboration, and file sharing. The new updates to SharePoint and OneDrive are aimed at improving collaboration and productivity for users by making it easier to manage and share content across different devices and platforms. The Copilot integration will help provide users with personalized assistance and guidance based on their specific needs and workflows.





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Cashless Stores Accept Money, Dispense Cards with “Reverse ATMs"

As stores and restaurants attempt to go cashless, some of them are installing "reverse ATMs" that dispense stored-value cards in exchange for cash. Reverse ATMs — also known as cash-to-card kiosks — are being installed in all manner of venues that want to go cashless that do not want to turn away the "unbanked," who represent 4.5% of Americans, per the FDIC. As things progress, some observers note that it might not be a physical card that is dispensed, but rather a virtual card loaded on to a smartphone.



AI Is Setting a Future Course for ATMs

AI can be used in a variety of ways to enhance the capabilities of ATMs. For example, machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze user transaction patterns and preferences, and then offer personalized recommendations and promotions. Chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) technologies can also be used to provide ATM visitors with real-time assistance and support. AI can also assist with facial recognition and biometric authentication technologies, as well as fraud detection systems.



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Wireless World


6G Is Coming Sooner than You Think

While 6G is still very much in the early stages of development, the FCC suggests that 6G technology could be coming sooner than we might expect. 6G is expected to be even faster and more reliable than the current generation of wireless technology, with speeds of up to 1 terabit per second and latency as low as one millisecond. In addition, 6G is likely to incorporate new technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT).



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Security Section


Forcepoint Extends DLP Policies from Endpoints to the Cloud

Forcepoint has introduced a new feature called "Data Security Everywhere," which extends its data loss prevention (DLP) policies from endpoints to the cloud. They claim that their solution enables organizations to manage DLP policies across endpoints, networks, and cloud environments from a single console, providing a unified view of their data security posture. It is designed to work with cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, as well as with on-premises cloud environments.



Cisco to Launch an Extended Detection and Response SaaS Package

Cisco is launching an Extended Detection and Response (XDR) SaaS package. XDR is a security solution that integrates and correlates data from multiple security sources, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), network detection and response (NDR), and cloud security tools. The offering gathers six telemetry sources that are critical for an XDR solution: endpoint, network, firewall, email, identity, and DNS. In contrast to SEIM systems to which XDR packages are often compared, most SEIM products are log-aggregation systems designed to investigate historical forensics analysis - the difference comes down to XDR systems being real-time or near real-time.



IBM Launches QRadar Security Suite

IBM has launched a new version of its QRadar security analytics platform, called QRadar Security Suite which integrates security data from multiple sources and provides real-time insights into potential security incidents. It also includes a range of new features and capabilities, such as AI-powered anomaly detection, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), and multi-cloud support.





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Technology and Marketing


2 Trends Shaping the Branch of the Future

The author argues that there are two trends shaping the branch of the future: 1. Branches must renew focus on community and personal relationships and 2. The digital and physical banking channels are merging into a smart branch. According to McKinsey, although 74% of customers in North America are willing to use mobile banking, only 36% prefer the mobile channel. He concludes that the branch is far from irrelevant and a robust omnichannel strategy will ensure FIs can meet the needs and preferences of everyone.



Financial Wellness Demands FIs Reboot Consumer Guidance

People who believe their FI cares about their financial health are three times more likely to be “very satisfied,” three times more likely to recommend their primary FI, and five times more likely to be interested in purchasing additional products and services from their primary FI, according to a recent Financial Health Network study. This article recommends that FIs provide more personalized advice and guidance by using new technologies such as AI and machine learning to analyze data and provide tailored recommendations. Additionally, it recommends partnering with financial coaching platforms to offer personalized financial coaching services.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


Are CBDCs the Future of Money and the End of Banking as We Know It?

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are digital versions of fiat currency issued by central banks, which can be used as a means of payment and store of value. The article suggests that CBDCs have the potential to fundamentally change the way that money is created, distributed, and used, potentially leading to the end of traditional banking as we know it. CBDCs could enable individuals and businesses to hold and transfer money without the need for intermediaries. However, the article notes that there are still significant challenges and risks such as privacy, security, and financial stability. It is also unclear how CBDCs would be regulated and how they would interact with existing payment systems and infrastructure.



Mastercard’s Cross-Border Services Express Helps Modernize International Payments

Mastercard's new service called Cross-Border Services Express is designed to provide a faster, more efficient, and more transparent way for businesses to make cross-border payments, reducing the complexity and cost of traditional payment methods. The solution utilizes Mastercard's existing payment infrastructure to provide real-time foreign exchange rates and fees. The service supports international payments in more than 60 currencies to over 100 markets covering 90% of the world’s population.



The ACH and Debit Top the Growth Charts

ACH payments grew at an annual rate of 6.7% over the 2018-2020 period, with a total of 25.6 billion ACH payments made in 2020. This growth was driven by strong growth in business-to-business (B2B) payments, which increased at an annual rate of 11%. The study also highlights strong growth in debit payments, which grew at an annual rate of 7% over the two-year period, with a total of 71 billion debit payments made in 2020. With the rise in digital-payment methods, ATM cash withdrawals are slumping “substantially,” - the total number of withdrawals in 2021 came to 3.7 billion, down from 5.1 billion in 2018,



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Internet Access


F5 Offers New Distributed Cloud Services for Multicloud Connectivity

Enterprise networking and application security company F5 is rolling out two new features to help organizations simplify different management tasks for complex, multicloud environments. F5 Cloud Connectors use a distributed architecture that provide a consistent set of APIs, allowing organizations to integrate with multiple cloud providers and streamline their application delivery process. Meanwhile, F5 Cloud Services for DDoS Protection and F5 Cloud Services for Web Application Firewall help provide advanced protection against DDoS attacks and web-based threats.



Akamai Introduces Prolexic Network Cloud Firewall

Akamai's latest offering, the Prolexic Network Cloud Firewall, uses a distributed architecture to provide real-time threat intelligence and protection against a wide range of attacks. They claim that their platform uses advanced machine learning and behavioral analysis techniques to identify and block malicious traffic in real-time, while minimizing impact on legitimate traffic. The new offering allows customers to define and adjust their own access control rules and provides analytics of existing ones. Improvements include the ability to define proactive defenses to block malicious traffic instantly, alleviate local infrastructure by moving rules to the edge and to quickly adapt to network changes via a new user interface.




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Call Centers


ChatGPT Is Greasing the Wheels for Use of AI Virtual Assistants in Banking

The author states that software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions with data stored securely in the cloud is bringing AI technology within reach for all. He says that FIs of every asset size can transform their service levels through an AI-powered chatbot, available 24/7, to help accountholders with managing their accounts, paying bills and carrying out transactions. He concludes that with the right AI solution, a Fi does not need an IT squad to build-from-scratch, fine-tune or adapt a generalized platform. The AI FinTech provider delivers reporting, analytics and support, to boot.