Learning a new tool or software can be challenging, but that’s why NISC is committed to not only providing our Members with new solutions, but also the support and resources necessary to use them to their full advantage. Bonnie Myers of San Isabel Electric Association in Pueblo West, Colo., was grateful for the help that came with deploying NISC’s iVUE® Mosaic this past year.
As we reflect this Thanksgiving on the many opportunities and successes over the past year, we can’t help but feel an immense sense of gratitude to you – our Members, employees and partners – for your unwavering trust and continued partnership with us. It’s been a wonderful year celebrating 50 years of innovation and service, and we feel so fortunate to have shared in the celebration with the many people who contributed to this milestone. When you think about a 50-year-old technology company, not many come to mind. NISC has had the good fortune to be a longstanding leader in our industry, providing our Members much-needed solutions and services, while continuing to grow on a national level. Despite our growth, NISC remains committed to remembering our roots – the people, processes and challenges that have brought us where we are today. And above all, we’re committed to doing the right thing … always. As we share what we’re most grateful for this Thanksgiving, the answer is the same as it’s always been: We’re grateful to you for allowing us to be your technology partner for the past 50 years. From all of us at NISC, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Here’s to the next 50.
Our recent Member Information Conference was undoubtedly the largest event ever held in NISC history. Just how large was it? Take a look at these stats! 2,435 people attended the Opening General Session. Approximately 7,731 meals were served throughout the week. 2,420 users logged in to our 2018 MIC app. 6,583 total hotel room nights booked. 2,816 photos added to the Hashtag Mosaic Wall. 9,550 minutes (191 sessions) of learning. We also made an exciting announcement about the future of the MIC! Starting in 2020, we’ll be taking the MIC on the road. MIC 2020 – Orlando – Located in the most magical place in the world, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort features beautiful tropical landscaping, tranquil waterways and classic art and architecture to create a stunning landmark in the midst of the happiest place on earth. MIC 2021 – Louisville – Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, the Kentucky International Convention Center puts you right in the middle of the action. Fourth Street Live, Museum Row, distillery tours, amazing cuisine and more await! MIC 2022 – Nashville – The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center features lush indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and SoundWaves, an upscale water experience featuring four acres of combined indoor and outdoor water attractions. Situated in the heart of Nashville, the Gaylord Opryland hotel allows you to hit all the high notes of Music City both in the area and under their roof. MIC 2023 – Denver – The brand-new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center features a rustic, alpine charm and picture-perfect views of the nearby mountains and nature. Shopping at the center’s diverse stores or go on an adventure at our indoor and outdoor water [...]
Earlier this month, more than 300 attendees from 200 organizations gathered in Arlington, Va., for the National Cooperative Business Administration – The Cooperative League of the USA (NCBA CLUSA)’s 2nd annual Co-op IMPACT Conference. Featuring an array of businesses from financing, agriculture, technology and more, the conference shined a light on the strengths of cooperatives as leaders within the economy. NISC recently became a member of NCBA CLUSA, joining the ranks of NRECA, CFC, CoBank and other national associations. NCBA CLUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. Their mission is to develop, advance and protect cooperatives and to demonstrate the power of the cooperative business model. “Becoming a part of NCBA CLUSA and being represented on their Board of Directors just speaks to the evolution of NISC,” said NISC vice president of Member & Industry Jasper Schneider. “It’s exciting to see our technology cooperative join the ranks of these national organizations and be recognized by other cooperatives from a variety of industries.” Schneider was part of a panel discussion at this year’s Co-op IMPACT Conference along with panelists from Savvy Cooperative, a patient-owned medical co-op helping patients share their health experiences with companies, and CoMetrics, which enables independent businesses, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations to harness the power of data to transform their performance and impact. The session dove into the advantages cooperatives have when it comes to big data, analytics and the notion of maintaining security. “Big data is all around us now, and more and more we see a growing concern over security and privacy,” Schneider explained. “As cooperatives, our users own their data, we won’t sell to a third party. It’s [...]
The final day of the Member Information Conference is always an inspiring and motivational one, and this year was no exception. We were honored to have keynote speaker and author, Michael H. Goodroe, speak to our 2018 MIC attendees. Michael is the son of Michael Goodroe Sr. from Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation in Georgia. He was diagnosed at a young age with Autism and severe learning problems. In his presentation, Michael discussed the grueling process of trying to enroll in schools, only to be rejected because of his diagnosis. He spoke about the one school that accepted him and gave him a chance, and how their willingness to work with him made a huge impact on his life. In addition to the benefits school and dedicated teachers provided Michael, he also found success in several hobbies. To train his mind to focus, Michael took up karate at age five. He credits his teacher and mentor, Mitsanobu Uchida, as one of the people who completely changed his life, helping him earn his third-degree black belt. Although Michael’s SAT scores were not high enough to be accepted to college, another one of his hobbies helped pave the way for him to continue his education. Michael and his family discovered that he was able to sing classical music. Because of this ability, Michael was granted an exception and allowed to enroll in college at the University of West Georgia to sing with the school’s choir. He went on to complete his BA in History as well as his Master of Business Administration. Michael now works full time and serves as a motivational speaker. In his book, What Autism Gave Me, he reflects on the many obstacles and rejections [...]
The 2018 Member Information Conference (MIC) has come to a close, and it was a great week full of learning and fun. The week wouldn’t have been as successful, though, without the help and participation of our Members. More than 40 sessions were led by NISC Members throughout the week and were among the most popular sessions offered at the conference.
There’s no denying that we live in a data-driven world. We’re constantly inundated by information and tasked with the responsibility of making key decisions. It can be an arduous task, especially when the wealth of information is so great and identifying important connections or correlations from the data is neither a simple nor swift process. Egyptian Electric Cooperative in Murphysboro, Ill., is no stranger to this task. For years, the cooperative spent much time and effort creating reports from spreadsheets and Word documents, only to often come up short in how that information was transmitted to Egyptian’s decision makers. In February of 2018, Egyptian deployed NISC’s iVUE® Mosaic – a business intelligence tool turning data into actionable information. “As we adopted more and more of NISC’s iVUE applications, it became obvious to us that we needed a better way to get at the data and analyze the data,” said Art Pontow, projects manager for Egyptian Electric. “The reports we were generating before iVUE Mosaic were time consuming, and they didn’t have the kind of flexibility we wanted. Mosaic really opened it up and gave us the ability to get at the data the way we wanted to and present it in a way that was meaningful to management and to our board directors.” Check out this testimonial video to hear more about how Egyptian is utilizing iVUE Mosaic. To learn more about iVUE Mosaic, visit nisc.coop/iVUEMosaic.
This is the last in our series on the Path to PCI compliance. First, if you've made it this far...thank you! If you haven't read the previous blogs you can start with the first one here. Taken altogether, sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees and the path to PCI compliance becomes overgrown and overwhelming. Let’s review just exactly what steps you need to take in order to successfully navigate PCI compliance with NISC card payment solutions. At the risk of oversimplifying, here is a quick breakdown of steps. First, we discussed that PCI-DSS is the shorthand for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of standard security practices put in place to ensure that the acceptance of credit card payments, along with the processing, storage and transmission of credit card data, is done in a secure manner. Second, we discussed the 12 PCI requirements that help you control the size and scope of your cardholder data environment or CDE. Third, we discussed the Self-Assessment Questionnaire, or SAQ. The SAQ is a questionnaire for you to fill out based on your own assessment of how well you are abiding by the 12 PCI-DSS requirements. Your answers to the SAQ become your Attestation of Compliance, or AOC. Finally, keep on keeping on. Do not submit your SAQ and think you are finished for the next 365 days. So many of the requirements have what the PCI Security Standards Council has called "Business as usual" and sometimes require daily attention. PCI compliance is complicated, if only because many of the requirements necessitate a change in how we do business, not to mention the certain skill required to understand many of the [...]
Welcome to installment number four on the path to PCI compliance. Previously, we reviewed the 12 PCI requirements, discussed the SAQ and AOC and how different card payment solutions effect which SAQ you should follow. By way of a reminder, SAQ is Self-Assessment Questionnaire and AOC is Attestation of Compliance which are one in the same form. Today we’ll explain how you can submit your SAQ and AOC to your card processor. The SAQ and AOC must be submitted on an annual basis. The due date will coincide with the month you originally submitted your first SAQ. Of course, many of the requirements have much shorter time-intervals which require you to continually track and manage the controls that are in place. There are several ways to submit your SAQ and AOC. For NISC Members, the SAQ and AOC is submitted through First Data, who provides three main methods of submission. You may recall how we compared the PCI-DSS process to the April 15 Federal tax submission - same thing here. You can "e-file" using First Data's free Clover Security Portal, which is by far the simplest and most efficient. You can also download, print and email or snail-mail the SAQ and AOC documents. Or, you can hire a Qualified Security Auditor (QSA), just like you would hire a tax advisor, who can submit it for you, or at least help you fill out the necessary paperwork to "e-file" or manually submit it to First Data. Each approach has its benefits. With level 3 and level 4 merchants – every NISC Member falls into one of those two levels - all that is required is the SAQ and AOC. Hiring a QSA to assist in the [...]
This is the third part in a series on the path to PCI compliance. Previously, we covered scope and the 12 PCI-DSS requirements. In this part, we will discuss the Self-Assessment Questionnaire, or SAQ, and Attestation of Compliance. We’ll also review how to understand which version of the SAQ you need to fill out. The SAQ is a questionnaire for you to fill out based on your own assessment of how well you are abiding by the 12 PCI-DSS requirements. Your answers to the SAQ become your Attestation of Compliance, or AOC. The aim of the PCI-DSS SAQ and AOC (wow - lots of acronyms there) is to secure card data. In the case of a data breach, or a suspected data breach, in which you are allegedly the source of the breach, you will need to prove - with certainty - that you not only kept to the PCI-DSS requirements, but that you also had no lapses in control. Let’s start by explaining what you can't do when answering questions in the SAQ. You cannot answer 'no' to any question and pass. That is not possible*. For the most part, and generally with very few exceptions, for you to be in compliance you will answer 'yes' or 'n/a.' And with every 'n/a' you must have an acceptable explanation of non-applicability. The acquirer - First Data for NISC Members - decides what is acceptable and what is not. Also, they are the judge and jury for which SAQ you should fill out. There are several different SAQs, and exactly how the card data is captured and processed determines which SAQ you need to fill out. The SAQs vary from the SAQ A with 22-responses to [...]