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SDN helps Premier Bankcard keep critical data secure

Premier Bankcard takes its duty to protect electronic information very seriously. The Sioux Falls-based credit card company tests its security procedures annually by hiring experts to try to hack into its computer system.

The hired hackers have never gained access to customers’ information.

“Cyber protection is the No. 1 priority for most IT organizations, and it certainly is at Premier,” Dave Geiver, vice president of technology at Premier Bankcard, said. “Premier has never had any kind of breach.”

Geiver credits SDN Communications for helping Premier keep its data secure.

Premier Bankcard and its sister company, First Premier Bank, use SDN services to protect and monitor their network circuitry.

“We have a fairly large relationship with SDN when it comes to the amount of network we have, the amount of circuits,” Geiver said. “We have really had a great experience with SDN as far as service level and reliability.”

In fact, Geiver says Premier receives better service from SDN than from any other telecom that it deals with nationally.

Not to mention it’s a bonus that Premier and SDN are based in the same city. The companies have easy access to each other, which Geiver says helps resolve any issues that arise.

Maintaining security is big job

Keeping Premier Bankcard and First Premier Bank computer systems running securely is a big job. They’re big companies that must keep data secure from outside invasion while making it accessible to some workers.

Together, they have approximately 2,100 employees and a similar number of computers spread over 23 locations.

Premier Bankcard, which serves millions of customers and takes 20-40 million phone calls per month, operates four credit card centers in South Dakota:

  • Sioux Falls
  • Dakota Dunes
  • Huron
  • Watertown

First Premier Bank, meanwhile, operates branches in six towns:

  • Sioux Falls
  • Watertown
  • Wakonda
  • Lake Norden
  • Kranzburg
  • Castlewood

SDN has been assisting the two banking companies with services for more than a decade.

The new battle zone

As Geiver recalls, there was a time, long ago, when people didn’t worry much about computer viruses. Some computer users chose not to bog down their computer systems with virus protection.

Those days are long gone, of course. Maintaining good virus protection for computers has evolved into an absolute necessity but one that people may take for granted.

Geiver says providing security is the newest battle zone in the IT world.

There was a time, perhaps, when supporting business initiatives was the top priority for IT departments. That’s no longer the case.

“Information security is the No. 1 focus for IT,” Geiver says.

“We’ve never had a cyber-security problem and, knock on wood, hopefully, we never will. It’s a real-time, everyday battle,” he said.

And he’s pleased with the cybersecurity help he receives.

“We have really had a great experience with SDN,” he says.

SDN offers an array of high-tech services to complement its core product: broadband connectivity. SDN fiber-optic pipeline crisscrosses South Dakota and reaches into seven other states to help businesses, organizations and institutions connect with each other and the world.

The high-speed information highway provides the foundation for a variety of other telecommunications products and services. Several are related to digital security ­- Managed Hardware, for example, and Managed Video Surveillance.

Services can be tailored for Mom-and-Pop businesses or larger enterprises, such as Premier Bankcard.

For more information about SDN or its products and services, call 800-247-1442 or visit the SDN Communications website.