After completing several mergers and acquisitions, Southern Illinois University (SIU) Credit Union in Carbondale, IL, was set to experience considerable growth over a five-year period. Brian Maurizio, who joined SIU Credit Union in 2004, recognized that his team would need assistance and more resources to keep up with this growth, meet additional demand, and expand the institution’s network.
“We were building several brick-and-mortar branches, and we needed help managing our network devices and extending our network to those new branches,” says Maurizio, who became SIU Credit Union’s vice president of information technology in 2011.
The credit union began searching for a partner to help manage its extensive IT infrastructure and cybersecurity needs, and CSI was happy to step into that role.
“We Can Lean On CSI To Help Us Grow”
In addition to monitoring SIU Credit Union’s network, CSI has worked with Maurizio since 2004 to help manage the credit union’s VoIP network, on-premise email server, wireless network, storage area network, and much more. CSI also assists the credit union with crucial business continuity planning.
“We can lean on CSI to help us grow because they’re an extension of our IT department,” says Maurizio. “They even help with smaller, one-off problems, too. If we’re having an issue and can’t figure it out, we just call CSI.”
Because of the close working relationship with CSI, Maurizio says he hasn’t hired additional IT staff in almost 10 years. With CSI’s help managing the credit union’s critical servers and network devices, IT staff can focus on supporting employees and initiatives that will help the credit union grow and provide enhanced services to more members.
Between planning for future IT-related initiatives and handling SIU Credit Union’s technology needs, it would be safe to assume that Maurizio spends a lot of energy dealing with cybersecurity. But that’s not the case in a CSI partnership.
Reaping The Benefits Of A CSI Partnership
As hackers continue targeting financial institutions, no network is safe from cyber threats. That’s why SIU Credit Union depends on CSI for risk mitigation solutions, including firewall management, intrusion prevention system (IPS) protection, and other services that strengthen the credit union’s cybersecurity posture.
In fact, Maurizio says CSI’s IPS detected and prevented nearly 15,000 threats to SIU Credit Union’s network in just two months. SIU Credit Union’s IT team also works with CSI to complete annual IT and cybersecurity risk assessments. According to Maurizio, this work pays dividends during yearly audits from the state of Illinois and the NCUA.
“Our examiners like to see that we have 24/7/365 service and monitoring from CSI on our network and devices,” Maurizio says. “When they ask how we handle change management and monitor logs, it’s nice to say we have CSI do all of that for us. They don’t question you much when you work with a reputable vendor.”
Maurizio says partnering with CSI for IT infrastructure management and cybersecurity tools even prepared the credit union for a situation as unpredictable as the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many businesses scrambled to implement work-from-home policies, Maurizio says SIU Credit Union was ready to support a remote workforce — thanks to its virtual private network (VPN) built and managed by CSI.
“We were prepared for COVID-19,” says Maurizio. “We didn’t have any remote workers before the pandemic, but since our VPN setup was already going through CSI, all we had to do was send our employees home with a laptop connected to the VPN and they could access our system remotely with no issue.”
Since the pandemic hit, Maurizio says he has reviewed his VPN capabilities with CSI and discussed the possibility of accommodating more remote workers for longer periods, should the need arise.
Empowering Growth And Exceptional Service
SIU Credit Union’s partnership with CSI has spanned nearly 17 years, empowering the credit union to focus on providing exceptional services to its members. Partnering with CSI also allowed SIU Credit Union to grow and scale without having to worry about managing cybersecurity risks or expanding its IT department.
Learn more about how CSI partners with credit unions to provide industry-leading IT and cybersecurity solutions by visiting csiweb.com.