OCTOBER 2007


IN THIS ISSUE

Facing Risk Successfully

Latest Veri-Shred Release Packs New Calendar Features & Management Console

Computer & Security Crime Survey

Top 10 Employee Behaviors Putting Companies at Risk

Achieve Accuracy & Save Time with VCK and QuickBooks


Tana's Tech Tips

"Just Ask!" Search Tip
To perform a search when you know the beginning value, use the exclamation point (!) followed by the beginning characters that you know and end with a percent sign (%).  For example, if you want to find all records that begin with 3456 in the Customer Box ID field, you would enter the following: !3456%

Adding Notes in Veri-Shred
Did you know that you can add notes to a day on the calendar and choose for them to print on ALL service orders for that day? From the calendar, right click on the day for which you want to add the note and select “Add a Note.”  Enter your note, then select “Show Note on Service Orders.” This note will print on all service orders for that day.

Likewise, notes can be added to a specific customer’s service order. From the service order screen, click the ellipsis button in the Notes column for the customer for which you would like to add the note. Enter your note. This note will now print on the service order for that customer for that day.


Congrats!

Account Executive Jim Miller and his wife, Michelle are the proud parents of a new daughter, Greer Carpenter Miller, born September 1, 2007.

Customer Service Specialist Brian Chivers successfully completed the Akron Half Marathon in 2:08:35. Way to go Brian! 


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Feb. 20-22, 2008
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THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com

Facing Risk Successfully
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

When we began putting this month's issue together, we wanted to focus a bit on corporate risk and DR planning. As much as we stress the importance of risk protection and planning to our clients, I find we ourselves are often not practicing what we preach. Just the other day, we spent days helping a (another) client rebuild their records center software. Don't get me wrong, they were performing backups. They just failed to test their backups to make sure they were being done properly. Unfortunately when it came time to restore following a crisis, the tape was blank. No data. Luckily, we were able to help, but not without hours of downtime as we helped to recreate data. You'll see a couple of interesting articles related to risk further below as well.

So that's where we started; however, I have to admit risk has taken on a whole new meaning for me in the past week or so as I've watched the devastating fires ravaging southern California. Like most of you, I've watched as family after family is evacuated, uncertain if they'll come back to their homes or a pile of ashes. I've watched as hundreds of fire fighters battle the blazes with little sleep or respite. I've thought about how I would react in such a situation. Would I face such uncertainty with the grace and determination of the senior couple who finally had to evacuate their home of 30 years with only a few clothes and their wedding album? Unfortunately there are tragic situations occurring around the world. Regardless of its origin, the people of southern California are dealing with what is now a force of nature. It isn't something that can be stopped with a phone call or a military maneuver. They can only do what they are doing - be patient, pray and support and help their neighbors. Which is something we can all do a little more of I suppose and by the way, go grab your backup tape and see if you can restore. You might be surprised what you find!


Latest Veri-Shred Release Packs New Calendar Features & Management Console
Combined effort from Sales and Development

ASI is pleased to announce the latest release of Veri-Shred, v.1.1.213. This
is a significant update, in that it incorporates significant customer input and requests, along with enhancements from our internal development plan. The most substantial improvements are related to the “calendar view,” as well as the addition of the Management Console. Let’s start with the calendar month view.

Route thresholds are a standard component of Veri-Shred. With our latest release, users will enjoy a powerful new graphics-based interface, allowing route loading to be easily viewed in the form of large color-coded meters. Once a route has been selected, meters are displayed for each day which slowly fill and change color as the threshold is approached. This makes it exceptionally easy for the user to determine if more activity can be added to a particular truck, or if activity needs to be moved to another truck or to a different day. There is also the option to view all three route thresholds in miniature form with corresponding roll-over effects. These improvements translate to users being able to affect adjustments that can be easily and immediately implemented, saving heaps of time in the process.

(Click for larger view)

Our developers didn’t stop with calendar month view. Users will be pleased to see the addition of a “week view” feature based on customer requests that they be able to forecast activity in weekly increments. The week view adopts all of the same features as the month view and much more. It is a completely interactive screen that allows users to view information five or seven days ahead, filter by route, not to mention users can change the meter to display route capacities by bin, weight or time so as to avoid any over- or under-loading of trucks. It also has all the features currently available in “route planning,” allowing users to switch entries from one truck to another, from one day to another, reorder stops, or simply remove entries completely. It all adds up to loads of task-specific information in a concise, easy-to-use interface that can be changed and modified quickly and easily.

(Click for larger view)

Along with upgrades to the existing calendar view component, we’ve also added fresh, new functionality to Veri-Shred. We call it the Management Console. This screen is intended for management or administration users who want to run a few operational checks on a routine, if not daily basis. An example of such an operational task is the flagging of soon-to-expire service schedules, which is why the first tool the Management Console comes equipped with is a check for expiring schedules. Once you receive your update, complete the following steps to make sure that you will be reliably and persistently alerted with information on contracts and schedules that are coming to an end.

  1. Open the General Settings screen. On the Miscellaneous tab check Show Management Console. On the Scheduling tab set the Show Schedules to Expire in ? Days to a number you feel comfortable with. Remember to click Save!
  2. Next, navigate to Administration -> Users to edit your user record by checking Show Management Console for Login. Again, don’t forget to click Save!

Now, if you log out and log back in, the Management Console screen should automatically launch. In turn, the Management Console screen will initiate the utility that displays the schedules currently set to expire within the time frame allotted by your entry in the relevant setting of Step 1 above. From here, you can either delete the schedules you want to expire or extend the schedule life for those that will continue.

In addition to the important feature described above, you can add up to six more of your own favorite, mission-critical modules that can be viewed and automatically launched from the Management Console. Simply drag an item off the list bar and drop it into a region on the console that exclaims “Drop list bar item here!” From the Management Console screen, you can choose whether or not you want the functionality to be launched automatically. In total, the Management Console screen provides you with seven functionalities that can be self-launched with every login.

Finally, not only does this new feature let you keep tabs on your own business, but the Management Console also enables you to keep an eye on what is happening out in the rest of the world by providing you with an internet browser that runs within Veri-Shred. This feature can be enabled with just a couple of clicks. Again, visit the General Settings screen. Here, check the setting on the Miscellaneous tab called Show MC with Browser and type in the URL you’d like to be your homepage on this internal browser. The next time you login, you’ll see a tabbed Management Console with the seven checks on the top tab and an internet browser on the bottom page.

As we proceed to pack the Veri-Shred product with more features, we will continue to add functionality to this module and to other components within the application. If you have any thoughts as to how we can make Veri-Shred an even more valuable tool, please contact our support staff. Likewise, if you have feedback regarding any new updates and features that have been added, we’d love that too. At the end of the day, our business goal is much like yours, to not only acquire new customers, but to keep existing clients like yourself, happy and profitable.

Register now for our WebShare webinar to be held November 20th and get a preview of what's new with Veri-Shred. It's full of important information and best of all it's FREE!

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Computer & Security Crime Survey

Below are some of the key findings from participants in this year’s Computer and Security Crime Survey administered by the Computer Security Institute. In its 12th consecutive year, this year’s survey results are based on the responses of 494 computer security practitioners in U.S. corporations, government agencies, financial institutions, medical institutions and universities.

  • The average annual loss reported in this year’s survey shot up to $350,424 from $168,000 the previous year. Not since the 2004 report have average losses been this high.
  • Almost one-fifth (18%) of those respondents who suffered one or more kinds of security incident further said they’d suffered a “targeted attack,” defined as a malware attack aimed exclusively at their organization or at organizations within a small subset of the general population.
  • Financial fraud overtook virus attacks as the source of the greatest financial losses. Virus losses, which had been the leading cause of loss for seven straight years, fell to second place. If separate categories concerned with the loss of customer and proprietary data are lumped together, however, then that combined category would be the second-worst cause of financial loss. Another significant cause of loss was system penetration by outsiders.
  • Insider abuse of network access or e-mail (such as trafficking in pornography or pirated software) edged out virus incidents as the most prevalent security problem, with 59% and 52% of respondents reporting each respectively.
  • When asked generally whether they’d suffered a security incident, 46% of respondents said yes, down from 53% last year and 56% the year before.
  • The percentage of organizations reporting computer intrusions to law enforcement continued upward after reversing a multi-year decline over the past two years, standing now at 29% as compared to 25% in last year’s report.

Interested in the full report? Click here.

Reprinted from the Computer Security Institute’s Computer and Security Crime Survey, 2007.

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Top 10 employee behaviors putting companies at risk
Chris Talbot

Do you abide by your company's IT policy faithfully or are you your IT department's worst nightmare? If you are like most employees, you fall somewhere between these extremes, but still could unintentionally be putting yourself and your company at risk. Jefferson Wells, a global provider of professional services including technology risk management, has unveiled the results of research into the top 10 activities that keep IT managers up at night and developed a process to rank the best and worst offenders.

"Most companies only have a small handful of employees who go out of their way to find new, creative ways to get around IT policies," said Karl Kispert, solutions director of technology risk management for Jefferson Wells, in a statement. "Sometimes the bigger problem can be employees who unintentionally break policies without thinking about the consequence of their actions. For example, they may think it is good to take their laptop home to do extra work, but if it is stolen without being properly encrypted, valuable company information could fall into the wrong hands."

After an analysis of what is keeping IT managers up at night, and after performing more than 500 technology risk assessments for its clients, Jefferson Wells developed the following quiz. Based on the number of "yes" answers, employees can see where they rank in the scale of IT risk. The questions are:

1. Do you take your laptop out of the office even though it's not encrypted?

2. Do you take sensitive company information home on a flash drive?

3. Do you use your work e-mail address on blogging and social networking sites?

4. Do you access your personal e-mail on your work smart phone or PDA?

5. Do you plug in unapproved wireless equipment to your work network?

6. Do you install rogue applications to your work computer?

7. Do you have your passwords taped on your computer or monitor?

8. Do you open e-mail from unknown recipients?

9. Do you forward e-mail with off-color jokes or images to co-workers?

10. Do you continuously e-mail large data files that could bog down your company's bandwidth?

Based on the number of "yes" responses, you could be putting yourself and your company at risk. Here are Jefferson Wells' interpretations:

Zero: You are an IT manager's dream come true. Your IT department thanks you for your compliance.

One to three: You are most likely an unintentional violator. It's a good idea to review your company's IT policy to make sure you are staying within its limits.

Four to seven: You are a frequent violator. Consider meeting with your IT department or compliance officer to see if you can accomplish your goals without increasing the company's vulnerability and exposure.

Eight to 10: You are a chronic violator and your IT department probably has you on speed dial. Set up an appointment with them immediately to address these issues.

There are also a few things employees can do to help lower a company's vulnerabilities. Jefferson Wells has the following tips for employees:

Encrypt your data: If you work with sensitive information that you do not want to fall into the hands of your competitors, make sure you either encrypt or remove those files from your laptop or flash drive before you take them out of the office.

Get a personal e-mail account: Use your Yahoo or Hotmail e-mail account when accessing social networking sites.

Protect your password: Create a complex password that incorporates upper and lowercase letters and numbers, and commit it to memory.

Think before you click: Be careful about opening e-mail from unknown sources and always think twice before forwarding potentially offensive content to coworkers, as viruses give everyone a headache.

As technology continues to advance, company policies governing its use continue to become increasingly strict. Companies struggle in the tug-of-war between giving employees the freedom they need to do their jobs and the restrictive policies that will help protect the company from fraud and theft. Kispert said that increasing awareness of risky IT behavior should help employees and IT departments work together to create stronger companies with lower IT vulnerabilities.

Reprinted from connectIT, September 30, 2007.

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Achieve accuracy & save time with VCK & QuickBooks Brian Chivers

Aaron Blizzard of Catawba Valley Archives in Hickory,  NC has a lot more time on his hands these days. Why? Last month, Aaron installed Visual Corporate Keeper's QuickBooks interface. This month, he reports that invoicing has been reduced to a fraction of the time previously spent processing monthly invoicing. He's also sleeping better knowing that he is achieving a higher degree of billing accuracy and cost savings. If you're interested in freeing up a few more hours of your day, saving time and money and getting a better night's sleep, contact an ASI Account Executive today.

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Escrow Services Part of Complete DR Planning

As reported in our August issue, ASI selected Escrow Associates, LLC as our new software escrow services provider. Escrow Associates is a premier provider of software and technology escrow services worldwide. Fortune 1000 and Software 500 companies rely on their services every day to help facilitate technology-related transactions. We certainly do not plan on any of our customers needing to use their services, but we recognize that it is an important part of contingency and disaster recovery planning. And if any industry should recognize the value of a solid DR plan, it’s ours.

If your company is interested in becoming a beneficiary of the program, simply download the Exhibit C Enrollment Form from our web site, fill it out and fax it back to us.  We will process the appropriate forms and Escrow Associates will contact   you confirming that your company has been added to the list of beneficiaries. For a copy of the Andrews Software, Inc./Escrow Associates, LLC Agreement, click here. If you should have any questions regarding the escrow agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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