Vertican Technologies Blog
Vertican Technologies News, Messages, Tips and more

August 2014
« Jul   Sep »
Encryption Notes for Collection-Master
Filed under: Collection-Master
Posted by: George @ 8:39 am

Collection-Master does not support encryption, nor will it in the foreseeable future. Collection-Master is an “application software”, similar to Word or WordPerfect. Those applications store documents, and Collection-Master stores data.

The application software level is not the best place in the data chain to encrypt data. Encryption should occur at the Server or Operating System (OS) level. Encrypting at the software level only encrypts that single application’s data. Encrypting at the Server or OS level encrypts all the data.

As a Collection-Master user, only encrypt data by using additional encryption hardware and/or software that works at the Server or OS level. Different solutions offer various “types” of encryption. CLS strongly recommends that you consult your local system support company or IT professional to pursue encryption to meet your client’s particular needs.
Software-only encryption solutions will definitely have a negative impact on overall system performance. A server running such software takes time to encrypt/restore all the data. As such, you will likely notice a response time degradation, depending on the software or server. A hardware-based solution such as an encrypted disk, minimizes the performance impact. Consider hardware solutions even though they may cost more.

Because it is impossible for CLS to test every possible encryption solution out there, exercise caution, and ensure that you are fully and redundantly backed up before instituting encryption. You should permanently retire more than one pre-encryption backup. Increase your backup frequency, as well as the number of backups in your rotation soon after you institute encryption.

For your backup solutions, consider a different encryption strategy from that of the server to meet clients “data at rest” requirements.

Finally, Collection-Master uses the local disk in each workstation for storage of temporary data. As such, you may have to encrypt certain files stored on the local hard drive. Another encryption strategy in addition to the Server and the backup strategy may be necessary for the data on your workstations.

Comments Off
2014 is a “Getting Together” Year
Filed under: From the President
Posted by: George @ 2:57 pm

July has made its inexorable transition into August. For many of us that means taking advantage of the diminishing number of barbecue opportunities to get together with friends and family. Here at Vertican Technologies we certainly love barbecues. But “getting together” has added meaning for us this year. In fact, it has two added meanings.

As you know, Vertican Technologies is now made up of four formerly independent companies: Q-Soft, CLS, YGC and Fillimerica. For Vertican Technologies, 2014 is a “getting together” year, as we combine our excellent staffs into one cohesive technology and service company. Getting together has ongoing challenges, but we can already see new opportunities for us and our great customers, beginning with newly coordinated development by teams that previously worked independently with overlapping, duplicate efforts. Customers will benefit from our new co-development work in the immediately foreseeable future with access to new and powerful software products to help address today’s business challenges.

In addition, “getting together” also now refers to our upcoming vConference next month, on September 11 & 12. This will be our first meeting of the combined companies. We are really excited. The meeting will feature individual breakout sessions that are focused on the software in use in your offices. For the first time, the meeting will increase the fabulous synergy we’ve always had by hosting the first-ever open, cross-pollination of Q-law and Collection-Master users. This year’s meeting will be the industry’s largest and most robust and focused gathering of the best and sharpest collection offices in the country. The opportunity to increase your networking among like-minded professionals will be awesome.

We’re hard at work preparing feature-rich presentations on ALL of our software products. We’re very excited about the synergy this meeting promises to offer. So, please make plans now to get together with Vertican Technologies and other collection professionals at the most unique and exciting meeting we’ve ever had. In 2014, the year of “getting together”, this is one meeting you won’t want to miss.

I look forward to seeing you in September.

Stevan H. Goldman

comments (0)
Thoughts About a Lawsuit
Filed under: From the President
Posted by: George @ 1:14 pm

In our industry it is impossible to ignore the lawsuit filed by the CFPB against the Law Offices of Frederick J. Hanna and Associates, PC. I’d like to offer my opinion of this industry-shaking action by our government.

I am not a lawyer. So, I am unqualified to offer any opinions about the legal efficacy of the lawsuit itself. But, I have spent my entire professional career designing and writing software in pursuit of greater accuracy as well as efficiency in collection-specialist law offices. So, I do feel qualified to comment on “automation.” And I have read the complaint.

In the complaint, two paragraphs absolutely jumped off the page at me. Paragraph 16b says “The Firm directed its attorneys to rely on an automated system and support staff research to determine whether consumers had sought relief in bankruptcy or whether their debts were barred by limitations;” and 16c says “The Firm directed its attorneys to rely on an automated system and support staff research to determine legally significant facts such as each consumer’s date of initial contract and the date the consumer last made a payment.”

Wow. I mean, WOW! Attorneys have support staff doing research? Goodness, me. How long has this kind of abuse been going on? And, they rely on automation to determine if consumers have filed for bankruptcy protection? Oh, my. Where will the abuse end?

In all seriousness, do the government lawyers who signed and filed this complaint actually believe that bankruptcy records are kept on paper in some hall of records somewhere? And, do they seriously believe that the research is only legitimate if a licensed attorney personally goes to this nonexistent hall of records to personally search through paper records to determine who has filed for bankruptcy protection? Do these same legal geniuses actually not know that records such as dates and amounts of contracts and payments are now kept electronically, beginning with the original credit grantor? Do these Clarence Darrow wannabes think that banking and credit card transaction records are in a paper file somewhere, with teams of bookkeepers updating payments to a paper ledger card every day? Or, do they just not care about facts and reality?

Not only are these types of records now stored electronically, but “using automation” brings a level of accuracy that would be impossible if these records were kept only on paper, and had to be researched manually. Yet, somehow, our government apparently feels that automation means consumer abuse, when the exact opposite is true when it comes to searching and scrubbing bankruptcies.

From my perspective the absurdity of the allegations regarding the use of automation and staff research in this lawsuit cannot be overstated. Without citing a single actual abuse (in my layman’s eyes), this suit implies that because an office is efficient they must be abusing consumers! The CFPB apparently spent many hours in the Hanna office, observing the extent to which they go to try and ensure that they are reaching out to the correct consumers with correct information, and attempting to engage consumers with efforts ranging from letters to phone calls, and finally to filing suits. And, remarkably, after observing the care and effort and significant expense undertaken by the firm to ensure proper, legal and ethical behavior, the government’s conclusion is that consumers are being abused because the firm uses automation and staff research!! How does that even make sense to anyone? Either there is abuse and misconduct or there is not. How can efficiency alone constitute improper behavior?

I am not an anti-government zealot. Far from it. But to me this is government run amok. Frankly, the lawyers who signed this complaint should be embarrassed. The “research” reflected in this complaint is so shoddy and simply wrong as to be laughable. It makes me wonder; did the government lawyers who signed this complaint do all the research themselves, or were they aided by “support staff” to do the preparation? If Mr. Hanna’s office conducted themselves with the same disregard for facts and reality as the government has done in this case, they would deserve to be investigated and punished. But, Hanna does NOT behave this way. Like all other responsible collectors they do just the opposite; they expend lots of time, money and energy in a never ending effort to be accurate and ethical. The result? They get blindsided by government lawyers who make absolutely no effort to be accurate and apparently could care less. I need a new Irony Meter.

comments (0)