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Lasco Newsletter

Winter 2014

Greetings,

 

The weather this winter sure has been surprising! It always seems that just as you think you know what to expect, life throws a curve ball. This can also be said for Cyber Security, the ever-changing threats can expose any business' or individual's internet vulnerabilities.  From the CEO to the last person hired, we all need to do our part in educating ourselves as well as educating others about best practices and ways to stay safe in the cyber world. Everyone can do their part by learning the proper internet etiquette to avoid becoming a target as well as learning the proper responses once an attack has been made. One simple reminder is that if you see something suspicious - STOP, Call for Help, and give as much detailed information about your current internet activities as possible so that the issue can be resolved faster - resulting in less damage to you and your clients.  

One of Lasco's partners, FIS, has recently chosen to partner with not only Microsoft, to help fight cybercrime, but is also partnering with the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government to respond to cyber threats to the global financial industry. Both Lasco as well as FIS have numerous resources for Cyber Security Awareness & Training. We are here to help you succeed and becoming more secure is part of that goal. Contact me if you would like further information on training for you or your staff in this area of Cyber Security. Stay safe, and be well.

 

 

Regards,
  
Dennis VanLandschoot
President & CEO
Lasco
  
  
800-800-6197 Ext. 1051                                                     dennis@lascoinc.com
  
In This Issue
Partner Spotlight
Electronic Payments
Cyber Security
Data Backups
Travel Tips
Tech News
Partner News
In-House News
Employee Spotlight
Quote of the Quarter
Partner Spotlight
Continuity Control LogoContinuity Control  
  
By now you may have heard the name Continuity Control. As one of Lasco's newest partners they are an incredible resource for regulatory compliance services. Many of Lasco's clients are currently reviewing what CC has to offer and one local community bank has already made a commitment to take advantage of their services and is presently implementing their software. If you would like to know more about this company, please read below. To speak to one of the Lasco team members about CC and how they can benefit your company, please contact Robert Baer (robert@lascoinc.com or 906-228-1055).
  
About Continuity Control
Continuity Control is an award-winning compliance platform that combines advanced software with personalized service to help community financial institutions effectively manage their regulatory burden. Founded in 2008 by distinguished technology, banking, and compliance specialists, Continuity Control's platform effectively reduces the resources a bank or credit union must spend on compliance while ensuring that it passes regulatory muster. Built just for community banks and credit unions, Continuity Control is the most comprehensive compliance management platform for community financial institutions on the market today.*
  
*About Continuity Control Section was used with permission from Continuity Control.
Electronic Payments
P2P Payments
 

P2P (person-to-person) payments are growing in popularity as it is a fast, convenient way to send or receive money. P2P allows you to send money to anyone that has an email address or a mobile phone number. One example would be the following:

  • First, the payer enters the recipient's contact and payment information.
  • Next, an e-mail or text alert with instructions on how to pick up the money is sent to the recipient.
  • Now, the money is available to the payee right from the institution's secure site.

The receiver of the payment then has the option on how they would like to receive their funds; check, account to account, Paypal, etc.

Companies like Google and Paypal provide P2P convenience along with some financial institutions. There was a recent survey showing that as interest grows for this service, most consumers would prefer to have P2P payments supplied from their financial institution*.

The majority of online consumers are already banking and paying bills online. However, most that are using a P2P service do so through a commercial provider and not their financial institution. Financial institutions that are offering this service provides another reason for account holders to make more of their payments through their financial institution.  

Whether a financial institution's customers use a mobile phone, tablet or computer, it is important to provide a user-friendly interface that has a similar look and feel to what they already experience online today - without the need to visit third-party Web sites.

In today's environment, finding a secure provider is key to keeping transactions safe and secure.

 

 

Source:

* http://www.banktech.com/payments-cards/most-consumers-want-p2p-payments-from-th/240162769

 

Article written by Mindy Daavettila, Bank Services Customer Support
  
Cyber Security
Windows XP  

 

*October 25th 2001; A little over a month after the September 11th terrorist attacks Microsoft launched its Windows XP operating system. Since then it has become ubiquitous at home and work. If you ever wondered if XP stood for something it does. It stands for eXPerience, as in improved user eXPerience**. That experience will be coming to an end soon.

April 8th 2014 has been burned into our collective minds in recent days. This is the date that Windows XP gets taken off of "life support" and security updates stop flowing down to it.

If you aren't familiar with what security updates are perhaps you have seen the little annoying yellow shield in the bottom right of your screen. Every second Tuesday of the month Microsoft bundles up these updates and sends them out. They can range in severity but all impact your overall security posture.

I'm not one for the zombie apocalypse hysteria that some articles are stating post April 8th Windows XP will be. I'm more in line with Andy Mattes, chief executive officer of Diebold "The bad guys won't show up the next morning, but with every month that passes, risk will increase. You want to get to this sooner rather than later."***After April 8th your risk of getting infected by malicious software will increase. Identity theft and data breaches will become easier when targeting Windows XP users.

What does that mean for us and where do we go from here? Windows XP is familiar and comfortable; jumping to Windows 7 will give users a somewhat similar experience whereas Windows 8 introduces a new interface more inclined to touch. Windows 7's end of support comes up January 14th 2020 which is longer than most hardware replacement cycles making it a smart choice for businesses.

 

 

Sources:

* http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/history#T1=era6

** "Microsoft Announces Windows XP and Office XP". Microsoft PressPass. Microsoft. February 5, 2001. Retrieved September 17, 2009. "The XP name is short for "experience""

*** http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/179_18/sunsetting-of-windows-xp-raises-atm-security-concerns-1065198-1.html

 

 

Article written by: Ryan Valiquette, Logical Security Officer/Support Technician

For questions on this topic you can reach Ryan at 800-800-6197 Ext. 1056 or ryanv@lascoinc.com.  

 

Data Backups
What Locations Are Covered?
 

Everyone knows the best way to mitigate the possibility of permanent data loss is to implement some form of data backup on your computer or network. Most people know that having backups is critical, but most may not question what locations are or are not backed up. So where should you be saving data to ensure it is backed up?

 

For those working on a business network with a central backup system, you should aim to save your files on your network drives such as the "public," "data," "shared," or "user" drives. These network locations should always be backed up, which makes them the safest places to save your data (as long as they are in-fact backed up). If you are on a term server or work in a thin client environment, you can also save to redirected folders such as the "documents" folder as this is typically redirected to a network share. (If your desktop is a redirected folder this would be covered as well, but you should avoid saving to your desktop as this can slow your log-on and log-off process.) If you have a PC or operate in a thick client environment, you should save as much as possible to network drives; items saved to the computer's hard disc itself may not be included in the backup due to network or logistical limitations.

 

Those working on a home network, with a personal computer with cloud or external storage backup solution can save files in most locations you would typically save files. Most backup software will automatically select the most common locations such as your "documents" folder and desktop. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the backup program and the list of locations it includes to be sure you are saving items in a place that is covered.

 

If you're not sure whether a location you are saving in is backed up or not, feel free to give the Lasco technical support center a call for further assistance.

 

 

Article written by: Tyler Moore, Support Technician

Travel Tips
 

Are you planning a trip for spring break with the kids? Do you travel often for work? Whether you are planning an overnight business trip or a full-on vacation, you may be able to save a little more $ on the next trip. Before you begin planning your next trip, sit down and decide what items are non-negotiables (date/time flexibility, layovers, hotel ranking, comfort, etc.) - and remember, the more flexible you are - the more money you will save.

Flying: If you will be flying, mid-week (Wednesday) is typically the cheapest day to fly - however, using a travel search such as www.kayak.com will allow you to search 3 days before and after your preferred departure/return dates so you can choose the cheapest dates. I typically use Kayak to find the best deals and then check the airlines websites directly just to make sure they aren't running any specials or coming up with different results. If you are redeeming reward points or airline miles, searching Kayak first will help you to see what airline has the best deal so you can get the most out of your miles (this is helpful if you belong to multiple airline reward programs). Always pay attention to dates/times/# of layovers - if you have a preference, Kayak has filters available to weed out the red-eye flights or number of layovers. Oh, and remember, most flights now charge for checked bags, and some also charge for carry-ons.

Hotels: The best website to check for recent hotel experiences is www.tripadvisor.com - you will get great, timely feedback on the hotels available in the area from travelers who have recently stayed there. You can both ask questions as well as just read recent reviews. When booking your hotels, always check for discounts available on sites such as www.travelzoo.com. If you plan to travel frequently, booking through www.hotels.com is a great idea, as every 10th stay earns you a free night. Always check around though, Kayak will search multiple sites at once to find the cheapest hotels in the area. (Watch out for resort fees! Many hotels/resorts are charging a fee now for regular amenities like Wi-Fi - even though Wi-Fi may be listed as free.)

Car Rental: Make sure you actually need a car rental! Some cities are inexpensive to use public transportation (like Honolulu), and many Hotels/Resorts charge daily parking fees, which may not be worth paying on TOP of your car rental fee! Check with your hotel or the local airport to find out about local transportation (hotel shuttles/bus stops/transportation lines). I also use Kayak for car rentals, it seems to be the most comprehensive search engine available and allows you to book directly from the site where the deal is found. The first thing you want to do is make sure your insurance company covers car rentals. If not - you will need to purchase the insurance from the car rental company (which many insurance companies will advise - to cover any hidden clauses that your carrier may not cover), so factor that cost in when searching for a rental. Also, car rentals often do not have the final price bolded, so make sure you read the notes next to the price, such as "taxes and fees not included". They are required to show you the final price before you purchase so sometimes you have to go a few steps further to get the final price, but you should never purchase before you know the total amount.

If you are uncertain about going with an off-brand car rental company, but the price is good - go to their website and see if they are owned by another company that you already trust. Currently, Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty, Avis owns Budget and Zipcar, and Enterprise owns National and Alamo.

Discounts: When booking travel, always check to see if you qualify for a discount, or search the web for a promo code, before you check-out. Discounts are often available for Military/Veterans, Seniors, or Students (college or otherwise). If you don't qualify for any of those, join rewards programs (free) and you will have perks available such as the fast lane at the car rental counter, or access to airline lounges, priority boarding, free or discounted checked bags/carry-ons, etc.

 

Discount Sites:

www.aarp.com or www.expedia-aarp.com (must be a member for discount to apply)

www.groupon.com

www.livingsocial.com

www.travelzoo.com

 

Travel Search Sites:

www.kayak.com

www.airfarewatchdog.com

www.farecompare.com - great resource for travel tips

 

 

Article written by: Emily Wright, Administrative Assistant  

Tech News...
  • Hacktivists will be an increasing issue this coming year. They will target any business that uses Social Media tools. Protect your business by maintaining control of the passwords, change passwords regularly, check your sites daily for evidence of hacking, only allow a select number of employees access, and use of a spam filter.*
  • Vehicles powered by fuel cells are expected to increase this year, especially in California where dozens of hydrogen refueling stations are hoped to be built. One neat fact: these cars can travel 300 miles before needing to be refueled and it takes less than 5 minutes to refuel!*
  • Copper telephone wires may be moving toward extinction due to a recent federal regulatory ruling. If the telephone companies continue forward with shifting to internet-based phone service, they will need to be prepared for emergencies such as power outages which will require cell towers to have batteries for backup.**
  • Many users are switching to private e-mail providers as well as subscription-based encrypted email services. Users are becoming increasingly aware that free email services such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are not secure.***  
  • Internet Protocol is receiving an upgrade this year (HTTP 2.0) which includes automatic encryption. What this means is that any site that switches over will have the same cryptographic protocol currently used for financial transactions.***

Sources:

* The Kiplinger Letter Vol. 91, No. 3

** The Kiplinger Letter Vol. 91, No. 6

*** The Kiplinger Letter Vol. 91, No. 2

Partner News...
  • FIS was selected by Microsoft as a partner in the fight against cybercrime. The two companies will focus on making Internet-based banking and payments transactions safer for businesses and their customers.
  • FIS will partner with the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government to respond to cyber threats to the global financial industry. FIS representatives will work with Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. This partnership is intended to improve the security of financial transactions worldwide.

Information Obtained From FIS Client Email Updates 

In-House News...
  • Baybank signed agreement to begin using Continuity Control services through Lasco!
  • Lasco's 2014 Corporate Hotel Rates are listed below:

Ramada Inn of Marquette:$62.95 + tax. (M-F free Breakfast)

Country Inn & Suites of Marquette: $99 + tax (Free Enhanced Breakfast Daily) Corp ID: 74348 (only need ID if booking online)

Hampton Inn Waterfront Marquette: Full Breakfast Included 

Lakeview Rooms 1 King or 2 Queens - Rates (all rates before tax):

Jan 1 - May 31 ($149)            June 1-Oct 7 ($159)               Oct 8-Dec 31 ($149)

To book online: http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/reservations/index.jhtml?hotel=MQTWFHX&corporateCode=0002834516 (the corporate code should already be entered for you)

To book by phone: 1-800-Hampton or 906-228-6001 Company: Lasco / Code is: 0002834516

The Landmark Inn: (all rates before tax)

Jan 1 - June 14 & Nov 1 - Dec 31                           

Traditional King/Queen/Double:     $112                     

Lakeview Queen:   $122                      

Jacuzzi Suite:   $179

2-Room Suite:   $189

Penthouse:        $349

June 15 - October 31

Traditional King/Queen/Double:     $122                     

Lakeview Queen:   $139                      

Jacuzzi Suite:   $209

2-Room Suite:   $229

Penthouse:        $389

Employee Spotlight

Sandy Etelamaki, Bank Services Support, celebrating 16 years of employment at Lasco! Starting  as a part time balancer, she currently works as a full time balancer and also works in many areas of customer support.  Sandy and her husband Steve have 1 daughter, Lisa (27), who lives away and she enjoys traveling to visit her and spending time exploring the places where Lisa has lived.  Sandy also enjoys spending time with her large extended family and friends locally, visiting Antique stores and sales, collecting vintage glassware,  and in the summer has started to ride bicycles with her husband.  

 

Ryan Valiquette, Logical Security Officer & Support Technician, celebrating 3 years of employment at Lasco! Ryan graduated from Lake Superior State University Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor degree in Computer Networking. He has an InfoSec Professional certification and has recently completed the Bank Technology Management School at the Graduate School of Banking, UW Madison. He is charged with managing and improving Lasco's security posture in an ever changing cyber world.

During his time away from the office he enjoys spending time with family and friends, though his most cherished moments are spent with his wife and two young boys. He has a passion to know, love and follow Jesus as he leads his family.

 

Mindy Daavettila, Bank Services Customer Support, celebrating 2 years of employment at Lasco! Working as a Bank Services support representative, she enjoys all areas of the bank services department, including customer support, Item Processing, and account balancing to name a few.  

Mindy & her husband Johnny enjoy spending time with family, friends, and their chocolate lab, Blue.  They are in the finishing stages of building their home and are looking forward to completion!  In her free time Mindy enjoys walking with Blue, cooking, and summertime on Lake Superior!!

 

Tyler Moore, Support Technician, celebrating the first year of employment at Lasco! One of the newest members of the Lasco family, Tyler joined in the effort of the IT department crew to provide support for the many IT systems of our clients.
Tyler and his partner frequently enjoy the year-round natural beauty the U.P. offers including snowshoeing in the winter and camping, hiking, and mountain biking in the summer. Tyler also enjoys other indoor hobbies including cooking and creating new baking recipes. 

 

 

 

Quote of the Quarter...
   
"If you can attend a church or a political rally without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death... you have the kind of freedom denied to more than three billion people in the world." *
  
*Source: "1: How Many People Does It Take To Make a Difference?"
                  by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada
  
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