Retailer safeguards its reputation and earns a great return on investment

When your goals are to proactively stop breaches and protect millions of credit card numbers, you know you’ve set the bar high. Those kinds of challenges require a best- in-breed solution — which is why PSCU chose the FireEye Network Threat Prevention Platform. PSCU serves credit unions, not-for-profit financial organizations that may not have the deep pockets of big banks. It facilitates traditional and digital payments of more than 18 million payment card accounts — and their highly sensitive financial data. A breach would be disastrous for both PSCU’s reputation and its clients’.

Gene Fredriksen, PSCU’s CISO, knew traditional firewall and anti-virus protection wasn’t enough to keep that critical payment card data safe. Over the last several years, he’s seen a significant rise in the sophistication and persistence of attack tools. “Anybody who’s only relying on big walls and defenses to keep the bad guys out is headed for a breach.”


PSCU benefits from early detection, improved visibility and actionable alerts

“FireEye allows us to catch things earlier. It also gives us a level of visibility and sophistication that makes our entire defense-in-depth infrastructure more reliable and resilient.”

- Gene Fredriksen, Chief Information Security Officer, PSCU

Catching threats with certainty Cutting-edge technology alone isn’t enough, which made Fredriksen and his team question the infections they saw. “Did you get it in time? Did you clean it? Did anything happen?” said Fredriksen. “I wanted to confidently report that we monitored outbound traffic; we didn’t see traffic going to a known bad-guy site; and if we did, it was shut down immediately.” Fredriksen recognized that it is just as important to understand what’s exiting his organization as it is to see what’s trying to get in.

The way FireEye monitors traffic and presents alerts makes it easier for Fredriksen to do that. “I’m all about looking at the kill chain and stopping things from happening as close to the front of it as possible. FireEye allows us to move further down in 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.”

FireEye provides actionable alerts Like many security professionals, Fredriksen is no stranger to false alarms. He says it’s not uncommon for tools to send out thousands of alerts the moment they’re switched on. Constant false alerts take resources to address.

They also lead to The Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome. “If a tool is always issuing false alerts, you start disregarding them. That’s dangerous,” states Fredriksen. “I have a high confidence factor in anything I see from FireEye.” With FireEye Network Threat Protection, false positives are minimized allowing you to focus on real threats. FireEye can handle threats even when no one knows they’re

happening. When PSCU was attacked in the middle of the night, “FireEye picked it up and handled it basically handsoff,” reported Fredriksen. “Those are the kinds of things that mean a lot to me.”

For Fredriksen, a perfect day is one where nothing happens. “Security guys like boring. I am not about the thrill of the chase,” he said. “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.”



Industry: Finance

Since 1977, PSCU has been a leading provider of traditional and online financial services to credit unions. Today, they represent more than 800 credit unions. They offer industry leading credit, debit and prepaid card servicing to more than 18 million cardholders as well as innovative bill payment solutions to over a million online bill payment subscribers.

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