PSCU Customer Story
Industry-Leading Detection and Response
In 1977 a group of credit unions created PSCU to arm themselves with the financial services and payment options necessary to compete with big banks. Today PSCU provides traditional and online financial services to its more than 800 member-owner credit unions; it protects the cards, identities, and online accounts of 18 million Americans. To remain competitive, nonprofit credit unions must offer services and security equivalent to that of the world’s biggest banks. The monetary and reputational cost of a breach would be devastating to the business of PSCU’s member-owners. Gene Fredriksen, chief information security officer of PSCU, advised, “Anybody who’s only relying on big walls and defenses is headed for a breach.” The organization sought an industry-leader offering both visibility across the entire infrastructure and world-class mitigation services.
Early Visibility Destroys Threats
Fredriksen revealed, “I’m all about looking at the kill chain and stopping things from happening as close to the front of it as possible.” One of the ways Fredriksen planned to seek out and destroy malware was to monitor outbound traffic, “I wanted to confidently report that we monitored outbound traffic, that we didn’t see traffic going to a known bad-guy site, and that if we did, it was shut down immediately.” PSCU sought solutions which could enable greater visibility into its infrastructure and stop threats earlier.
False positives waste valuable resources and endanger security. Fredriksen specified, “If a tool is always issuing false alerts you start disregarding them. That’s dangerous.” PSCU would only consider a solution that issued reliably actionable alerts.
A Stable Solution
Fredriksen admitted a perfect day for him is one where nothing happens. “Security guys like boring. I am not about the thrill of the chase,” he shared. “I like things in control, well-managed, and repeatable. If I’ve done my job right there aren’t emergencies. That’s why I pick my partners so carefully.” The credit union services organization needed a mature, industry-leading security vendor offering cutting-edge technology packaged in stable solutions.
Industry: Financial Services
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Member-Owners: 800 Credit Unions nationwide
Customers: 18 Million card and online account holders
A longtime Mandiant customer, PSCU leveraged its investment by adding a FireEye Network Security Solution (NX).
Fredriksen outlines why freedom from false positives alone justifies a FireEye deployment.
The Industry Leader
Hear how forward-looking FireEye pioneered a combination of detection, prevention, and response services.
The Visibility to Destroy Threats
FireEye NX allows PSCU to monitor all traffic, enabling the financial service provider to stay ahead of threat actors. Fredriksen reported, “FireEye allows us to move further down the stack and catch things earlier. It also gives us a level of visibility and sophistication that makes the entire defense-in-depth structure far more reliable and resilient.”
A Secure Investment
The organization found the FireEye NX did not waste departmental resources with false positives. Fredriksen confirmed, “I have a high confidence factor in anything I see from FireEye.” PSCU can rest assured that sending its staff to investigate a FireEye alert is a valuable use of time.
Even when FireEye detects a threat and sends an alert the NX platform does not wait to begin remediation. Fredriksen recounted that when PSCU was attacked in the middle of the night, “FireEye picked it up and handled it. Those are the kinds of things that mean a lot to me.”