3 Security Tips From Synergent’s ISO

Mike Smith, Synergent’s Information Security Officer, has more than 25 years of experience in various areas of information and physical security. With data security a top priority for all credit unions, Mike shared with us the following three security tips:

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  1. Educate your Staff
    If you see something that doesn’t seem right, don’t stay quiet about it. Whether it is someone wandering about the building without a badge, a strange email or phone call asking for a member’s private information, or anything else that feels strange, speak up! If you see something, say something.
  2. Watch for Red Flags 
    If you receive unsolicited email, you need to be very cautious. Verify the sender if you have to by calling them. If you don’t know who or why someone sent you an email, delete it. Never click on the attached URL or open an attachment in an unsolicited or suspicious email. If you find a thumbdrive, never plug it in to your computer’s USB port. Hackers have been known to plant such devices at companies in the hope that an unsuspecting employee will pick it up and plug it into their terminal. If you do find an unattended thumbdrive, turn it in to your Information Security Officer or IT department. Anyone asking for any of your passwords is also a big red flag. Nobody should know your passwords but you. Similarly, never share your credentials with anyone, either. You are responsible for what happens under your unique user ID, so don’t give away the keys to your kingdom.
  3. Add EMV and Tokenization to your Offerings
    Synergent offers a total solution for EMV chip card technology, and Apple Pay is one of the most secure ways to make retail purchases. At the core of Apple Pay is tokenization, which is an encrypted set of characters that goes from an iPhone to a merchant. In this process, card numbers and personal information are never transmitted directly to retailers.