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In the Cybersecurity Wars, We are All Targets
Monday, September 14, 2015 (1022 reads)


A dating website that helps married people cheat has been hit by hackers. Ashley Madison, which uses the advertising slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair,” said it had been attacked and some user data stolen.
Adult FriendFinder matches people for sexual encounters. The site claims to have “helped millions of people find traditional partners, swinger groups, threesomes and a variety of other alternative partners.” That site now has new friends and partners after being hacked.
A trend sure to make folks ill is the hacking of numerous health websites. And “Say It Ain’t So, Joe!!” – the St. Louis Cardinals have been accused of hacking files of the Houston Astros.
The above hacks might seem somewhat harmless, and perhaps even humorous. And though hacking has gone beyond the breach of Target stores, finance is still on the top of the charts on the hacking hit parade. A report by the New York State Department of Financial Services in May 2014 found that most financial institutions experienced “intrusions or attempted intrusions into their IT systems” in the previous three years.



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New York Community Banks And ‘Cure the Blue’
Monday, September 14, 2015 (614 reads)


In New York and throughout the nation, community banks are deeply involved in their communities through economic development, civic organizations and philanthropic activities. Whether it involves youth programs, senior citizen projects, health-related programs or a myriad of other initiatives, the local community bank is generally in the thick of things: providing financial support and making bank officers, directors and employees available to lend their experience, support, leadership and expertise.



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A New York State of Mind
Monday, September 14, 2015 (584 reads)


With apologies to the great Billy Joel, the “New York State of Mind” I refer to in the title of this update is not his memorable ballad, but rather the unique legislative and regulatory environment we faced this year. Unique? Indeed. This year, the term “chaotic” also applies.



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Modern Methods Improve Regulatory Change Management
Monday, September 14, 2015 (586 reads)


Regulatory change wreaked havoc long before the Dodd-Frank Act. Every quarter since 1975, there have been 60 to 80 regulatory changes affecting banks. That number holds steady regardless of which party controls Congress or the White House, across cycles of regulation and de-regulation.



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Are Online Videos the Equivalent of a Corporate Selfie?
Monday, September 14, 2015 (585 reads)


Whether financial institutions can make use of online videos, and whether they should do so, are two very different questions.



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The Tech Companies are Coming How Community FIs Can Fight Back
Monday, September 14, 2015 (606 reads)


The growing customer utilization of mobile technology has driven systems investments in mobile banking for banks across the country over the last decade. Spending on IT at banks has increased by over 49 percent over the last five years. These investments have generally been defensive in nature. While some early adopters realized a small increase in customers, community bank utilization typically protected them from losing deposit share to the massive online systems of the big banks. Whether or not to play in mobile banking is now old news; mobile is now a necessary product offering. Designing the perfect mobile banking application is the next market disruptor threatening community banks.



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New Approach to Social Media Could Be a Game Changer
Monday, September 14, 2015 (510 reads)


More than 15 million businesses and organizations are now part of Facebook. Many corporations also have company Twitter pages. In the financial world, these pages are typically followed or liked by customers and employees. Major financial institutions with large customer bases and thousands of employees might have impressive numbers of likes or follows, but all too often, posts or tweets are stagnant, void of real interaction and results.



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Be Smart with your Phone
Monday, September 14, 2015 (542 reads)


“In terms of payment systems, smart phones are still an emerging technology,” said Ken Citarella of Guidepost Solutions LLC. “Unless security is built into the technology, there is a tremendous opportunity for misuse. Pay attention to the app you are using. If it is an app prepared by your bank, odds are it is probably safe. As for liability, courts have held that if a customer has been breached, it is not the fault of the bank if money is transferred out of that account. However, a recent case had the court saying that a bank should be aware of funds that are transferred to a location overseas in unusual amounts.”



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Day Breach at the Breach
Monday, September 14, 2015 (491 reads)


Just like a day at the beach can turn nasty without warning, so too can a data breach hit.
At a recent cyber event, Lisa Clark, a partner in the Philadelphia-based firm of Duane Morris, explained what to do when a company suspects a breach. “The [questions] I ask [are], ‘What’s the basis for the suspicion? Could it just be a security incident, or does it really meet the definition of a breach under applicable federal (e.g. HIPAA) or state law? Who discovered it and when?’ These are all important questions in order to position the company to fulfill its legal obligations with respect to a breach.”



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Surprising Similarities Between Banking and Winemaking
Monday, September 14, 2015 (571 reads)


I admit it: I love wine. Napa cabernets in particular. On a recent trip to Napa, it dawned on me that the wine and banking industries have some similarities.
The facilities: It is very expensive to build a bank branch, but compared to building a Napa winery it’s a drop in the bucket. Napa wineries have beautiful locations, great hospitality and interesting buildings. Plus, wineries are working facilities.



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Making Customers out of Friends, Amerasia Expands into Florida Market
Monday, September 14, 2015 (1155 reads)


A New York-headquartered bank has recently expanded into Florida, where it intends to bring the same financial discipline that has made it one of the top performing community banks in the country.
Amerasia Bank, rated a top 10 bank nationally by SNL Financial since 2010, is headquartered in Flushing. In 2013, the bank, which also has an office in Elmhurst, expanded into the Miami market with two branches, and in September will open its third Florida branch in Orlando.



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Indentifying Behavioral Traits in High-Performance Bank CEOs
Monday, September 14, 2015 (621 reads)


In his new book “Average Is Over,” Tyler Cowen makes the credible argument that the economic structure that created community banking is largely obsolete. Today, the future focus is on technology and entrepreneurship – and on the collaboration between the two.
How then is a CEO in today’s banking environment expected to marry the traditional business of banking with the leading-edge of the future economy? How does a CEO achieve high performance?
Before we look at the traits of a high-performance CEO, however, we should define a high-performance bank.



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