Inside Look: Rep. Palmer Tours Technology Center to See What Banks Do to Protect Customers
Congressman said he’s impressed how Regions, other banks invest in cybersecurity.
SEPT. 21, 2015 – Behind him, multiple screens showed a graph of recent cybersecurity activity. Another showed a global map of ongoing cyberattacks in various parts of the world.
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) toured Regions’ Data Center as a team of the bank’s technology experts explained what banks are doing to protect consumers and to help ensure consistent access to financial services.
“You can have the greatest technology,” said Greg Gagliano, Chief Information Officer at Regions. “But if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t serve people.”
A freshman congressman from Hoover, Palmer toured the Regions Operations Center Monday at the invitation of Regions and the American Bankers Association. The Alabama Bankers Association also attended.
“I feel a lot better from what I learned today about what Regions and others banks are doing to protect customers,” Palmer said. “Not only what they are doing in terms of a financial investment, but in terms of investing in people and technology.”
Known locally as “The ROC,” the Regions facility Palmer visited features state-of-the art equipment and a dedicated team of professionals. The tour began in the Mission Critical room, where a large, temperature-controlled enclosure features wall-to-wall servers processing 25 billion banking transactions a year.
The Data Center is used to monitor communications and task tracking. A Desktop Lab on the third floor is used to test new applications and verify that technology for bank branches is not only secure, but also improves productivity.
In the Command Center, with wall-sized monitors lighting the room, Regions officials can meet on an emergency basis to fight off cyberattacks or keep track of associates, customers and Regions locations affected by natural disasters.
Led by Cindy Rogers, Regions’ head of Operations and Technology, the visit gave Palmer a look at the inner workings of Regions’ security. During a sit-down discussion, Rogers and her team explained to Palmer how banks prioritize their efforts to protect customer data and the technological infrastructure.
The spending, as well as the sharing of intelligence among various financial institutions, is becoming more the industry norm as banks cooperatively work to protect customer information, to share information on emerging threats and to maintain access to essential financial services.
“We aren’t seeking a competitive advantage in security over another bank,” Rogers explained. “We need to share this effort and work together.”
Palmer serves on the House Budget Committee, the Space, Science and Technology Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A former business operations manager before founding a think tank and running for political office, Palmer said he got a good sense for how Regions and peer banks try to stay one step ahead.
The congressman’s day concluded with him meeting with 100 Regions associates about current topical issues facing the lawmakers and the nation.
Palmer said he would like to see the U.S. go further in helping prevent cyberattacks by holding other nations accountable.
“We spend billions of dollars to protect ourselves,” Palmer added. “We need to be direct when we negotiate treaties with other countries, particularly those nations that have participated in an economic attack.”