MAY 2014


ASI 30th

IN THIS ISSUE


Tana's Tech Tip

VCKweb.NET New Feature: Retention Scheduling

Retention Scheduling is the latest new feature to be added to VCKweb.NET and will be included in the next update. Here's how it works:

Create a list of Record Series codes to be assigned to boxes in the data entry process.

Define the retention period length for each Record Series in number of months, and the Significant Date from which to add the number of months.  The options for Significant Date are: Entry; Date From; Date To; or User Defined (date entered by user).

When a defined Record Series code is selected for a box in data entry, the Review Date is automatically populated by using Significant Date + number of Months. 

Here's an example:
The Record Series code "AP-00001" is set to use Entry as the Significant Date and Months=12.  If a box is entered on 5/30/2014 and AP-00001 is selected as the Record Series, then the Review Date will be automatically populated with 5/30/2015.

Click here for the latest Release Notes for VCK-SQL and all ASI solutions.


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Upcoming Events

NAID Shred School
June 18-19, 2014
Philadelphia, PA

NAID Shred School
July 23-24, 2014
Chicago, IL

PRISM International Data Protection Conference
September 13-14, 2014
Chicago, IL


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Gaining a Secure IT Foothold
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

What do these three scenarios have in common?

  1. Your office manager receives an email from an unknown source and opens the attachment.            

  2. Your sales manager brings a proposal home for the weekend on a thumb drive or CD, works on it using a home computer which has a virus, and brings it back to the office on Monday to add finishing touches.

  3. It’s become common practice for staff to bypass your IT protocols and use a third-party cloud service to store files.

All are examples of how quickly and easily your computer network can become vulnerable to cyber threats through seemingly innocuous activities. Online security, or the lack thereof, is certainly top of mind these days and though these examples profile employee risks to network security, the reality is that, in today’s fast-moving world of IT there are many ways and opportunities for your business to be exposed. As the news headlines tell us practically each day, it’s not limited to small and mid-sized businesses. No company is immune to the havoc that viruses, worms, spyware and hackers can inflict. Just ask ebay, Target, and Microsoft. Even the Federal Reserve’s internal website was breached in 2013...Clearly, deep pockets can’t ensure online security of your network or website.

So what are you to do? How do you keep your company’s network secure? Short of unplugging your connection to the Internet, which is the only fool-proof method, here are some tips:  

Make the upfront IT security investment.

In our experience working with clients, we find that many do not have a specific IT budget set aside, much less a certain percentage allocated toward network security. Unfortunately, the failure to have a secure network can cost a company far more than it would have ever spent on security.

Recognize that your employees are your biggest risk and asset.

It’s estimated that eighty percent of security breaches occur internally, yet it’s your employees who are also your first line of defense. First, be sure to educate employees about the risks. Instruct them not to open emails and/or attachments from unknown sources. Implement a password policy to ensure passwords are changed at least every ninety days and that they are not intuitive. Reduce non-business web surfing by implementing "acceptable use" policies, and reinforce them. Create a “culture of vigilance” to ensure protocols are being used.

Install anti-virus software on all workstations and servers and keep it updated.
Since new viruses are created every day, it is essential to have anti-virus software that can be updated regularly to protect against the latest threats, preferably automatically updated to every workstation from your server.

Invest and install software AND hardware firewalls.
Firewalls provide protection between your computer and the world by filtering and blocking potentially dangerous and unauthorized data from the Internet. They also let "good" data reach your computer. There are two types of firewalls: software and hardware. Software firewalls run on individual computers while hardware firewalls protect several computers at once. The size and needs of your company determines whether you choose one or both.

Utilize email anti-virus and spam filters.
There are two types of email viruses: those that are enabled when opening an email attachment and those that run automatically regardless of an attachment.  An email anti-virus filter will catch incoming messages that contain viruses and stop them in their tracks. Typically you will receive an email notification to let you know that a virus was detected and quarantined.

Spam is one of the biggest wastes of space and time ever invented. A spam filter separates unsolicited emails from those that are legitimate, placing the unsolicited messages in a separate folder. Yes, legitimate messages are sometimes filtered as well, so it’s important to check the spam folder messages ever so often.

Invest in anti-spyware technology

Spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties. It often gets in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program. It basically gives advertisers information about your web surfing habits so they can target you for particular products. Anti-spyware is software or technology that disables spyware so you can regain your privacy.

I hope these help you in your quest to protect your network. There are no guarantees; however, you’ll have a jumpstart on securing your network by being proactive and having contingency plans in place.

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PRISM Conference Shines in California

The ASI Team joined PRISM members from around the globe for this year's PRISM Annual Conference held May 5th through the 8th in Rancho Mirage, California. It was a fantastic four days sharing the latest on all things "ASI" and learning what's new with friends and colleagues. We congratulate the PRISM Conference Planning Committee and staff for putting together a great educational and networking event and thank everyone who came by the ASI booth to say hello. We look forward to connecting again in the near future, possibly at another upcoming PRISM event!

PRISMConf

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Shred School a Big Hit in Houston

Shred School logoEarlier this month, our own Jim Macmillan attended NAID's Shred School in Houston, Texas. The NAID Team, led by Ray Barry, showed once again why this unique educational event continues to grow.

“I’m ecstatic about the rave reviews from 2014 graduates thus far,” said NAID Deputy Executive Director Ray Barry. “We’ve had several participants say they’d like to come back next year already. So we’re always evolving the curriculum as the industry changes to keep it fresh.”

The first workshop of 2014 was in Las Vegas, which sold out days before the event.

“Vegas set the tone for the year,” said NAID Director of Communications Kristina Carlberg. “We made some major changes to the program and wanted to make it more accessible to NAID members. After seeing both Vegas and Atlanta sell out and hearing the great feedback on the curriculum, it makes us more excited for future workshops.”

Some of the changes made included more information on LinkedIn prospecting, relationship building, online advertising and mistakes to avoid making in the industry. Also, Drew Dekker of NetGain SEO was added to the speakers list, which includes NAID staff members Ray Barry, Kristina Carlberg, Bob Johnson and Jamie Hughes.

Shred School is an educational event that ASI has supported for years and we're honored to be part of its continued growth.
The next Shred School workshop will be held in Philadelphia June 18th-19th. To learn more or to register for a workshop, visit www.shredschool.com.

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More Updates in the Works

We currently have the next round of updates for the below products in Beta and will be released to the general public in the next couple weeks. Please check for the updated Release Notes on the ASI website:

  • VCK-SQL; 9.4.75.x
  • VCKweb.NET; 14.5.0.x
  • Veri-Shred; 2.4.20x

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