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Your source for the latest technology information of interest to community banks across America.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter and/or our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

January 17, 2022


Hardware News

 

How to Shop for Firewalls

Today’s firewalls are an essential piece of the enterprise security puzzle. They’ve become the foundational device upon which security vendors have stacked all of their advanced features. This article highlights what network execs looking to upgrade their firewalls should ask vendors when shopping for a new next-gen firewall.

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Microsoft Touts First PCs to Ship Natively with Secure Pluton Chip

Microsoft just announced the first PCs with its Pluton chip-to-cloud security technology. The technology is aimed at securing the computers of remote workers and others. Along with thwarting malware, the Pluton chip handles BitLocker, Windows Hello, and System Guard and might help prevent physical insider attacks. The technology is also being used in Azure Sphere in the cloud.

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This Superfast USB Tape Drive Could Make Cloud Backup a Thing of the Past

Japanese tape drive vendor Unitex has unveiled the first ever LTO-9 tape drive with a USB connection. The aptly named UNITEX USB LTO-9 drive offers a native capacity of 18TB on one tape with transfer rates of up to 300MBps, far more than any cloud backup or cloud storage service could ever reach. The inclusion of a USB port, albeit a Type-A 3.0 model, means it has near universal compatibility. It costs around $6,000, but LTO-9 tapes are reasonably priced at less than $170 which is about half what an equivalent 18TB hard disk drive costs.

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Software Updates

 

Audit Your Active Directory with a Complimentary, Read-only Scan from Specops

Specops Password Auditor is a read-only tool that scans your Active Directory and identifies password-related vulnerabilities. The collected information generates multiple interactive reports containing user and password policy information. Plus, you get an exported version to share with stakeholders.

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Microsoft Teams’ Walkie Talkie Feature Now Available to Everyone

Microsoft is making its Walkie Talkie feature of Microsoft Teams generally available to all users of its communications app. Walkie Talkie lets Microsoft Teams users turn smartphones or tablets into a walkie-talkie that works over cellular data or Wi-FI.

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ATMs/Kiosks

 

ATMs May Have Peaked in 2019, Research Finds

The availability of ATMs may have peaked at 470,000 units scattered across the U.S. in 2019, with a fall-off since then to 462,000 in 2020 and an estimated 456,000 last year, a spokesperson for research firm Euromonitor International said. “It’s going to be a gradual drop for the next decade as cash” is used less, the firm said. Another consultant said that he "suspects they’ll be gone within 25 years."

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Wireless World

 

Conversational Banking Is So Much More than “What’s My Account Balance?”

The author predicts that in the near future, voice control will take the place of tapping, clicking and scrolling. He provided some examples of conversational banking: 1) direct your virtual personal assistant to compile a report of your 10 most recent transactions and send it to you via SMS text message; 2) determine whether you received your advance child tax credit payment in November; 3) schedule a bill payment on its due date as you’re walking into the airport; or 4) transfer $100 to your college kid’s account while you’re driving to dinner.

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Security Section

 

Windows Security in ’22 — You Need More Than Just Antivirus Software

For smaller businesses with 300 users or less, Microsoft is in the process of testing Microsoft Defender for Business, a security suite that adds the ability to manage, track, and protect against threats in a network. In addition to scanning for, and alerting about, issues, it also provides actionable security tips unique to each platform. However, this article states that antivirus from any vendor is not the best tool to filter email for phishing attacks, nor is it the best tool to check where you browse online. It goes on to outline many key security measures to take to protect your computer.

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Technology and Marketing

 

Email Marketing Trends to Help You Kickstart 2022

Many marketers claim that email remains the preferred way for people to stay informed about the brands and products they care about. The author is convinced that email marketing will become even more relevant in 2022 and offers numerous email marketing tips in this article.

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How to Build a Long-term, Search-first Marketing Strategy

According to research from Moz, 84% of people use Google at least three times a day, and about half of all product searches start with Google. This article concludes that the connection to revenue becomes clear — it starts with search.

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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

 

New Data From Mastercard Confirm the Explosion in Online Volume Is Still in Progress

Online sales in the United States jumped fully 60.4% in December compared to December in 2019, according to the latest SpendingPulse report from Mastercard. Mastercard’s research aligns with other sources. Reports by the U.S. Commerce Department indicate e-commerce sales rose 32.1% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, to nearly $207 billion. Numbers for 2021’s fourth quarter are not yet available. Expect more of the same in 2022, especially in e-commerce, Mastercard says.

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Technology Is Only One Piece of True Digital Transformation Puzzle in Banking

No question, the latest and greatest digital tools are competitive must-haves. But this article argues that banking has always been about building relationships, and digital technology doesn’t change that — it simply extends and enhances it. In other words, digital transformation is less about transforming the technology and more about transforming the organization. This article goes on in-depth on how to "Think Outside the ‘Banking’ Box."

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TransUnion Brings Credit Data to Public Blockchain Networks

Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion is moving in the direction of Web3 with the announcement that it will bring off-chain consumer credit, identity, and compliance information to public blockchain networks. Specifically, TransUnion will bring its VantageScore to Spring Labs’ ky0x Digital Passport, a tool that enables blockchain and smart contract applications to access off-chain data sources to create new, permission-controlled decentralized Web3 services and applications.

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Digital Banking Industry Leaders Forum

Thought Leadership From Around the Industry by BANK tech-trends and Finopotamus:

Benchmarking Your Digital Banking Strategy

Humanizing Digital: Increasing Account Holder Loyalty and Exceeding Goals with Smart, Flexible Solutions

Alogent

 

Digital Transformation: A Banking Imperative

Three Present-Day Goals to Revolutionize Your FI’s Marketing

eSignatures Are Now a Top Priority Across the Nation

Fight Fraud by Better Understanding Your Financial Data

It’s Always About the People: 5 Rules for Digital Banking and Beyond

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Internet Access

 

Hybrid Cloud Demands New Tools for Performance Monitoring

Typical cloud vendor networks are incredibly complex. As network complexity goes up, so does the potential for problems. According to research firm EMA, 57% of network teams have acquired specialized tools to close gaps in cloud-networking visibility. The research firm expects network-performance management tools to provide cloud monitoring through some combination of: 1) Collecting metrics from virtual network elements; 2) Collecting flow logs and other telemetry; 3) Collecting network traffic data; and 4) Analyzing synthetic traffic directed at SaaS services.

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Ranking the Fastest Internet Speeds Around the Country

A report detailed by highspeedinternet.com shows that the US as a whole saw its average speed more than double over the last two years, going from an average of 42Mbps in 2020, all the way up to an average speed of 99Mbps in 2021. Google Fiber ranked as the fastest Internet service available at the moment with speeds up to 2,000Mbps but is mainly only applicable to those living in major cities within the U.S. Rhode Island once again checked in as the state with the fastest Internet speed at 129Mbps, followed closely by neighbors such as New Jersey (120), Delaware (119), Maryland (118) and Washington, D.C. (117) making up the five fastest.

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Call Centers

 

Five Windows into the Future of the Contact Center

According to the author, the contact center is no longer the primary first point of entry for consumer engagement - now it is often the last point of contact before they potentially leave a relationship. He offers five lessons (and windows into the future) that the contact center can take into the New Year.

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