Listened to Your Feedback
you may know, Vertafore customer support transitioned to an enhanced platform
on April 30. They heard your feedback and are actively working to elevate your
support experience with a dedicated team that is focused on improving the
system to meet your needs.
automated phone system has been updated with options that are now simpler and
easier to use, and coming
soon they will have a hotline directly to ImageRight, AIM and FinancePro
support, including an option to leave a voice mail at any time.
goal is to ensure that Vertafore customer support is easily accessible and
available when you need it. If you need assistance, please contact them at (800)
444-4813 and select option 2, or contact your account
feedback is important to them, so please send your suggestions to email@example.com.
you for being a Vertafore customer.
“Bring Your Own Device” Opportunities &
Employees expect it; but employers need
to manage the risks
By: Danielle Johnson, Director of
consumerization of IT revolution —
sparked by the iPhone — has
shifted the IT culture so that the users are the ones getting the latest,
cutting edge technologies first, and they want to bring those devices to work.
— PC World Magazine, Dec. 20, 2011, Tom Bradley
“Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Own Device to
Many workers today expect the companies they
work for to allow them to use their personal mobile devices and personal
computers at the office, and/or to provide remote connectivity to the office
via personal devices. Technologists dub this trend “BYOD” (bring your own
is BYOD Important?
Mobile devices — along with their applications and on-the-go
Internet access — provide attractive options for speed, connectivity
and productivity. Many people wouldn’t think of spending their workday without
a Blackberry, iPhone, Android, iPad, or other device to access company systems
and data. Most important, senior managers want to use these devices and are
using their organization’s technology more because of them.
Many employees see their own personal devices
as superior to those provided by their employers. Employees also tend to
believe they are more productive if allowed to use their own devices for work
and data syncing, between office and home.
Thus, BYOD is significant because
employee-owned devices are now accessing company systems, and being used for
work purposes presenting security and privacy concerns to the employer.
Employers see the inherent value in a more
mobile, more connected, and more productive workforce. Many employees and
managers have no problem connecting and addressing work issues after hours
and/or on the weekends. It can be considered a motivational strategy.
Are the Security Risks?
BYOD mobility offers access to
enterprise data, systems and corporate email. Employees can store and process
data, and connect to networks.
While BYOD may be considered
necessary and convenient, this type of connectivity can raise significant data
security and privacy concerns, which lead to potential legal and liability
device gets lost or stolen, with access to company data and systems.
device contracts a virus, or has malware installed that can obtain company
logins and data from that device.
personal device user — however good
his/her intentions are — can in effect be
circumventing company security standards.
- The company cannot control the use of the
personal device should the employee allow children or friends to use the
- The employee may use the device to place files
in personal applications in the cloud which may not be secure.
- The employee plugs a mobile device into the USB
port of his or her office computer thereby transmitting a virus to the office
Here are some facts to consider when trying
to balance personal device access with security:
don’t perceive the risk.
perceive the use of their own devices at work as placing no extra burden on
technical support. But dealing
with any data or system security issue requires know-how and technical
perceive the risk, but aren’t fully ready. In August of 2011, a
Deloitte webcast poll of more than 1,000 U.S. information technology and
business executives found that 28 percent of respondents believe there are
unauthorized personal digital assistants (PDAs) and/or tablets connecting to
company systems, especially to email servers. About 87 percent of respondents
think their systems are at risk for a cyber attack originating from a mobile
security lapse, the poll reported.
The same poll found 40
percent of respondents are unaware of whether their organizations have
strategies or controls to enforce mobile security. Further, it found that only
24 percent of respondents believe that “all devices connecting to my intranet
are authorized.” Only 17 percent reported that they monitor for rogue
Malware is on the move. Malware that targets mobile
devices is increasing, reported IBM Security Solutions researchers in a fall
2011 whitepaper. Citing an IBM security research report, the whitepaper
presented statistics showing that mobile operating systems vulnerabilities
tripled from 60 to a projected 180+ from 2009 to 2011.
Enterprise systems and mobile
systems are catching up with each other. While many corporations have for years allowed
Blackberry-based access to email and other company systems, users are now
demanding that iPhone/Android-based smartphones, and tablet computers be
provided access to these same services.
How do you proceed once BYOD is determined
Since there are risks to the mingling of
personal devices and work systems, companies must take the lead in assessing
and managing the risks, so as to safeguard their systems and data. Some simple
a strong written BYOD Policy that is consistent with the organization’s
Employee Handbook policies such as the IT Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.
which data to protect,
what devices will be supported.
which employees need remote access via personal devices. Do not open BYOD
participation beyond those employees that have a strong business reason for
and educate employees concerning policy and BYOD use.
employee mobile devices for compliance with your organization’s policy.
employee’s authorization to “wipe” the employee’s mobile device remotely
(restore to the original factory state), as a condition of giving access to any
of the business’s systems.
controls over access to and use of the company’s wireless Internet. For example:
do not broadcast your wireless SSID, restrict access to employees only
using MAC address filtering in the router, and invoke WPA 2 on the router.
If an enterprise is allowing
employees to use their own mobile devices, the following security measures
should be implemented.
strong phone startup PIN which is at least 6 – 8 characters long. If not
supported, use the maximum allowed. Reduce the PIN required timeout setting to
no longer than 10 minutes.
specified encryption and anti-malware software on each device.
and install mobile tracking software/applications which allow online access to
track the location of a lost/stolen phone, and the ability to perform a
lock/scream and/or remote data wipe. Secure employee’s authorization to take
these actions on the device if the device is misplaced, lost or stolen, as a
condition to giving the employee access to the business’s systems and data.
not allow “broken”/”rooted”/“jailbroken” devices on your network. These phones
have removed limitations installed on the phone by the carrier allowing the user
to run apps and files not approved by carriers. This
process opens the device up to security risks.
enterprises monitoring multiple devices and platforms should consider Mobile
Device Management (MDM) software. MDM software centrally controls and protects
the data and configuration settings for all mobile devices in the network. MDM
can also provide a secure document delivery platform and end to end data
opportunities of BYOD are present — and here to stay. As an
analogy, home security is more complex for a bigger house with more entrances
and windows. So too is systems security more complicated as smartphones and
other remote devices present new entry points to be analyzed and protected.
All of the security tips presented here are
simply guidelines to aid agencies in diminishing security and privacy risks,
and managing them. However, none can be guaranteed 100% effective.
Johnson is the VP, Director of Information Technology at InsurBanc, which IIABA
and the W.R. Berkley Corporation established to assist independent agencies
with their specific banking needs. This article reflects the views of the
author and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.
Workshop – Learn from the Best
September 21-22, 2012
Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at
you a Systems Expert? Do you want to be? Learn from others just like yourself.
This is content you cannot get anywhere else. Trade tricks and tips, share
information – there’s no substitute for sharing experiences with others that
work on the same products with the same goals in mind. Don’t miss out – Register
NOW! SuperSaver discount ends July 13!
Back by Popular Demand
Account Manager Certification for AMS360 Users (NcAM)
pleased to announce the AMS360 Certification immersion class has been scheduled
for December 2012. Account Managers using AMS360 will want to attend this
training and the prestigious distinction of this certification. The
certification process includes a series of webinars on Version 6.0, followed by
tests, and a four day immersion course and test.
out the YouTube
Video for a Brief Overview
December 3-6, 2012
NetVU National Headquarters, Irving, TX
Managers (NcAM) will:
- Become experts in their field,
including version 6.0
- Use AMS360 to its full
potential and teach others to do the same
- Increase utilization of your
agency management system
- Gain access to a
private NCOM forum
- Be given special consideration
when contacting Vertafore Support
- Gain access to
the "Best Practices" guide to help you share and implement
what you've learned
Review and register for 6.0 webinars
qualify for the "Immersion Certification" course, individuals must
pass the test of at least six of the nine available webinars prior to the
immersion class. The Certification instructors will teach at an advanced
level, so intermediate working knowledge of all courses is recommended.
Click here to register now for the immersion session.
Space is Limited!
Vertafore is Pleased to Announce the Release of AMS360 Version
AMS360 v6.5 provides significant new capabilities for every staff member in
- CSRs and
account managers can
provide faster customer service with one click access to policy summary
and related activities, and customer quick pick
- Producers can create and edit customer information on the go
with their tablet device
managers can purge inactive customer
data and configure AMS360 using the new Administration Center, which
consolidates all system administration functions
a comprehensive list of new features, review the AMS360
v6.5 Release Notes (DOC778).
How to Upgrade to AMS360
v6.5Agencies using the online version of AMS360 will be upgraded to
v6.5 automatically on a staggered schedule between now and September 2012.
Email notifications of the upgrade will be sent two weeks in advance.
using the in-house version can upgrade to v6.5 beginning June 22.
If your system is on a version older than AMS360 v6.0, you will need to be
updated to v6.0, as updates need to be performed sequentially.
Free AMS360 v6.5 Upgrade Training at Vertafore UniversityTo learn more about the key enhancements in AMS360 v6.5, we
invite you to attend one of our many release seminars scheduled for now through
the end of August 2012. Register
today for the AMS360 v6.5 Upgrade Seminars at Vertafore
Upgrade Resources and InformationVertafore has prepared a library of documentation to streamline
the upgrade process and provide you a best-in-class upgrade experience our
competition cannot match. Available resources from the My Vertafore
- AMS360 v6.5 Configuration Guide
- AMS360 v6.5 Release Notes (DOC778)
- How to Dx360 to clear cache
files in AMS360 (SOL19206)
- How to create a desktop
shortcut for AMS360 (SOL18913)
forget, in order to access My Vertafore and communication center links you will
need your agency login and password. If you have any questions about this
release or the installation steps, please contact Vertafore Customer Support at
800.444.4813 or online at My
you for the continued opportunity to support your agency. We value your partnership.
Leaders Keep Focused and Motivated
Leadership Workshop is one of the
best opportunities to get together and really collaborate. Everyone has a
unique approach and perspective, so the teamwork and creativity is amazing.
Getting together with other agents to brainstorm makes such a difference – it’s
how we find ways to keep our business and our industry moving forward.
At NetVU, individuals are really
valued. Opinions spark discussion and new ideas, and relationships keep us
motivated and informed about trends and ways to get better. For Chapters, the
larger world of NetVU makes such a difference – not only technical expertise
and tools but information that helps us serve our customers more effectively in
our rapidly changing industry.
NetVU is already a fantastic
organization and resource, and the vision for making it even better is
exciting. The interaction with other leaders keeps you focused and
motivated – it’s such a benefit to know that you are part of a group that is
focused on the bigger picture and providing opportunities to stay ahead of the