UNAPEN.com http://unapen.com IT, CRM & Reporting for Investment/Wealth Mgmt Fri, 12 Jan 2018 20:18:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 http://unapen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/UNAPENicon-48x48.png UNAPEN.com http://unapen.com 32 32 Meltdown-Spectre: What does it mean to me and what is being done about it? http://unapen.com/4928/meltdown-spectre-security-flaw Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:19:35 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4928
UNAPEN, UNAPEN 25th Anniversary

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

Cyber Security and Data protection with ITComplete,  ITComplete DataSafe  and ITComplete NetScan from UNAPEN

Article by Kenneth Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

I am sure at least most of you have heard that there is a new sensational security flaw that is going to end the world as we know it! Seriously, it is a considerable issue that does effect just about every PC and Server as well as some other devices. 

However, there are currently no known exploits in the wild and hardware and software vendors such as Intel and Microsoft working on fixes. In addition, Security Vendors such as Trend Micro and SonicWALL are working on protections to hopefully detect and block any zero-day exploits.

One thing we don’t want to do is panic and actually cause problems needlessly. Due to the publicity of this event, even Microsoft has succumbed to releasing updates before they are ready; causing certain PCs to crash and then having to recall the patch. 

Please rest assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and we are testing updates on internal machines as they are released. Once we have a good level of confidence in what is available, it will be rolled out to our managed services clients. 

Basic tips for everyone are the same ones you should be following even when security is not in the news:

1.) Purchase, install and monitor a reputable Anti-Malware product.

We use Trend Micro within our managed services but there are many others available that are also good.

2.) Think about what you are opening in email and Internet Searches. 

Attachments or Links that you are not expecting or that raise any questions need to be verified through another means before they are accessed.

3.) Make sure your systems are kept up to date…..

especially if your operating system is pre-Windows 10. 

Macs also need to be kept up to date….contrary to old adages which weren’t even true in the past.

4.) In addition to your operating system, make sure your hardware is up to date. 

HP, Dell and other manufacturers now typically have software installed on your machine to help with this. For older systems and other manufacturers, check the support page on their web site for drivers and firmware……but exercise caution as incorrect installation could cause significant problems. 

If you need to manually select and install drivers and firmware, and are not comfortable with that, I would strongly recommend finding someone to help.

  

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UNAPEN Newsletter – October 2017 http://unapen.com/4915/unapen-newsletter-oct-2017 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:15:07 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4915
UNAPEN, IT solutions, IT NON PROFIT, IT ASSET MANAGEMENT, CRM, ASSET MANAGEMENT CRM, CLIENT REPORTING, WEALTH MANAGMENT, WEALTH MANAGEMENT IT, WEALTH MANAGEMENT CRM, BUSINESS CONTINUITY, DISASTER RECOVERY, ADVENT, ADVENT AXYS, QED, QED FINANCIAL SYSTEMS, ADVENT APX, APX, CUSTOM REPORTING

Financial Services & Technology News

Never Heard of Infor? You Will!

Infor CRM Product Enhancements Over the Past Year

Ransomware Extorted MILLIONS...and Climbing!

Cyber 101: Sharing the Basics

 Monthly Trivia Question - Baseball and the World Series

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UNAPEN Newsletter – September 2017 http://unapen.com/4897/unapen-newsletter-sept-2017 Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:23:27 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4897

Financial Services & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

Hackers & Hurricanes - How Your Firm can Survive Both Threats with a Single Solution

CyberSecurity - Download Datto's 2nd Annual State of the Channel Ransomware Report

Ransomware - The Top 2 Ways to Protect Against this Growing Epidemic

Tech Giants - Microsoft and Amazon Collaborating

AUG, The Exchange - Wealth & Investment Industry Forum Offers Member Discounts on Industry Solutions

 Password Madness - SANS Institute Offers Guidance on Selecting a Password Vault

Monthly Trivia Question - Citizenship Day and The Constitution

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Ransomware – How a New Form of Locky is Spreading via Spam http://unapen.com/4880/new-form-of-locky-ransomware Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:00:21 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4880
UNAPEN, UNAPEN 25th Anniversary

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

Cyber Security and Data protection with ITComplete,  ITComplete DataSafe  and ITComplete NetScan from UNAPEN

A massive spam campaign spread a new form of the Locky ransomware, sending out over 23 million phishing emails in a single day.

For additional details on how to train your friends and co-workers on what to look out for in an email, tips for protecting yourself against ransomware, and how the hackers are utilizing the Darkweb to process Bitcoin ransom payments click here.

 

According to sources at AppRiver, there's currently no way to reverse or decrypt this strain of Locky. 

Instead, they recommend a 3-pronged approach to protecting data:

1)  software updates

Flexible IT Services at an affordable fixed monthly cost.

2)  data backup

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions.

3)  layered cybersecurity

Harden your firm against CyberSecurity attacks.

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UNAPEN Newsletter – August 2017 http://unapen.com/4870/unapen-newsletter-august-2017 Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:15:30 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4870

Financial Services & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

Finding an IT Vendor that Specializes in FinServ

Case Studies - Client Reporting for PortfolioCenter & Axys Clients

Retrospect - Microsoft Timeline: Then-to-Now

Compliance Risk Alert - CyberSecurity OCIE Examinations

Business Continuity - Download the 2017 SANS Security Awareness Report

 Monthly Trivia Question - The 'New College' Founded in 1636?

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UNAPEN Newsletter – July 2017 http://unapen.com/4846/unapen-newsletter-july-2017 Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:00:05 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4846

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

ClientLogix - Infor CRM integrated with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

PriceFusion - Quarterly Bulletin for APX Clients

Matrix - Single & Multi-Family Office Reporting Technology

Asset Managers Gear Up for Growth

Advice for Parents of Online Gamers

 Monthly Trivia Question - How did July(and all the other months) Get Its Name?

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How Predictive Analytics Boosts Internal & External Wholesaling Effectiveness http://unapen.com/4709/predictive-analytics-boosts-wholesaling Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:33:50 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4709
 

"Tier one Asset Managers are already starting to adopt predictive analytics as part of an effort to increase internal and external wholesaling effectiveness but we are far from where the industry should be." observes Cesar Pereira from Infor as he discusses how Data Science is changing the game.  

– Check out Cesar's article here

ClientLogix Combined with Sales Intelligence for Infor CRM

Blending your financial data in context with client and prospect demographic data, then applying predictive analytics can drive the efficiency of both internal and external wholesalers in the following ways:

+  Indicate which clients are most likely to purchase in the next 30 days

+  Provide insight into which fund they are likely to purchase

+  Proactive notification of client attrition

+  Drive more meaningful conversations and interactions

About UNAPEN

Every asset management firm has a different value proposition, otherwise there would be only one asset manager. Most CRM vendors want you to adapt to their system, which seems arrogant to us.  Here at UNAPEN, we have a staff of industry experts that recognizes the unique value that you provide to your clients and helps adapt and integrate our ClientLogix CRM with not only the information from your core systems, but also with the way you do business. ClientLogix is flexible enough to accommodate how you work as a team, and prioritizes your actions to optimize your success and your clients’ satisfaction. Don’t spend time trying to figure out where information is or what to do next, that’s what computers are for… ClientLogix proactively pushes information to Compliance, Operations, Portfolio Managers, Executives, Sales and Marketing teams to make them work as a cohesive team. Experience the difference ClientLogix can make in bringing your firm to the next tier of growth and success.  

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Affordable, Reliable Pricing & Reference Data for the Advent Community http://unapen.com/4688/pricing-data-for-advent Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:59:05 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4688

PriceFusion Quarterly Bulletin

Pricing and Reference Data Interface Connects Advent Portfolio Exchange® (APX) to Thomson Reuters DataScope Select

 

 

Learn More >

Thomson Reuters DataScope Select Data Service Enhanced with the UNAPEN PriceFusion Automated Delivery Adapter

The response from members of the Advent Community using the service and even those still exploring the solution have been fantastic. Our clients influence & drive innovation so we are proud to announce the latest enhancements to the PriceFusion adapter, included with the Thomson Reuters DataScope Select Data Service.

Years Serving the Advent Community

Features & Updates

Security Type Filtering

Security Type Filtering options for task processing adds to flexibility

Missing Prices

Ability to only process Missing Prices to supplement existing custodial or 3rd party data feeds

Shares Outstanding

Extended Shares Outstanding Sec Info data results & mapping options

Optimized Index Routines

Optimized Index Routines for efficiency and system performance

Multi-Index Mapping

Support Multi-Index Mapping to Singular Identifier

Historical Pricing

New Historical Pricing feature to automate the retrieval and import of a price date in the past

Currency Scaling Toggle

New Currency Scaling Toggle for Security Pricing

User Defined Fields

Expanded Sec Info coverage to include User Defined 1-3 fields

"PriceFusion has automated several tedious yet business-critical tasks and has been a tremendous product for our firm. We worked with UNAPEN during implementation to configure PriceFusion to update our APX system both intra-day and end-of-day and their decades of experience in integrating with Advent portfolio accounting systems really paid off!"

- Multi-Strategy Asset Manager

UNAPEN product questions, PriceFusion questions

DID YOU KNOW?

What functional syntax can I use as part of my data processing or command line execution of the various tasks in PriceFusion?

Example:  PriceFusion.exe PDI P = Pricing,  M = Missing Prices,  I = Indexes, E = Sec Info Updates,  R = Rates,  S = Splits, 
D = Dividends,  F = Factors,  Q = Intraday Pricing  
and M = Missing Prices

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Infor and LinkedIn Partner to Help Boost Sales Productivity http://unapen.com/4675/infor-crm-linkedin-partnership Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:17:49 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4675

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – June 2017 http://unapen.com/4740/unapen-newsletter-june-2017 Thu, 29 Jun 2017 13:30:10 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4740

Business & Technology News

 

 

NewsLetter Highlights

Multiple Significant Global Cyber Attacks in a Month's Time

Top 3 things to Consider When Choosing Your CRM Solution

Client Reporting Case Study

Cyber Attacks: Lessons Learned

 Monthly Trivia Question - July 4th & the Declaration of Independence

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Info on the latest Ransomware Outbreak in Europe and the US http://unapen.com/4644/petya-outbreak Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:44:40 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4644

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of  ASCII since 2014

Earlier this month I reviewed WannaCry Ransomware. Now we have a new variant wreaking havoc in Europe and the US dubbed Petya. The interesting/annoying/scary thing about this one is that it includes the ability to leverage one vulnerable machine against your entire network. This means it is no longer sufficient to only protect your “important” machines. One vulnerable system no matter how inconsequential it is to you, could cause major issues within your network…..just as Merck, Maersk and others learned yesterday.

Our Partners at Datto have released an update that you can view here Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading across the Globe

The protections you need are the same as they were with WannaCry (see below); the new lesson is that you need these protections on every system that has access to your network.

Let's Cover the Basics (again for anyone that missed the previous article)

1.)    Keep your systems up to date – These attacks are exploiting a hole that was patched in March.  With all the tools and services available to ensure your systems are patched, it is negligent to not have applied this update by now.  Through ITComplete™, UNAPEN can even resolve the issue for operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports.

2.)    The attack has known signatures - so using a reputable, fully featured malware protection package should help block infections.  The key is to ensure these protections are on, operating properly and reporting to the correct people if an issue is discovered.  Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security is incorporated into UNAPEN ITComplete™ and has the protections needed.

3.)    Finally, the goal of ransomware is to collect ransom - even if an attack got through the first two protections (as WannaCry would not) you only need to pay ransom if you can’t recover on your own.  Active Business Continuity Systems like ITComplete DataSafe™ allow clients to spin up a clean copy of a protected system in minutes to recover from a hardware, software, or even malware issue.

Enjoy!

 

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

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Why I Hate Free Stuff http://unapen.com/4604/why-i-hate-free-stuff Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:55:28 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4604

Article by Joseph Walker, UNAPEN, Inc.

ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, UNAPEN, Infor CRM, Infor, CRM, Wealth Management CRM, Family Office CRM, Asset Management CRM, Investment Management CRM

“There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”

Two of my favorite authors (Robert Heinlein and Milton Friedman) had much to do with the popularization of this phrase before economists and press started using it regularly.  Initial credit really goes to Rudyard Kipling, who described the offer of free lunches linked to paid drinks in San Francisco saloons as far back as 1891. Most of us have traditionally thought of the free lunch concept in the context of economics and some measure of common sense.  Despite our worldly distrust of things that look too good to be true or can’t possibly be sustainable as free giveaways, we’ve been on a modern day binge that would make Kipling cringe.

Everywhere but Apple

With the possible exception of the Apple ecosystem of iTunes junkies who’ve been classically conditioned to pay for what they consume, we’ve steadily built an online economy that presupposes free stuff.  Yes, we still have to pay our local telco or cable provider for an on-ramp to the super highway of free, but that’s it for many, at least here in the US.  Software, cloud storage, document conversion, reference materials, comparison shopping – it’s all free for the taking.  We’ve gobbled it up only occasionally lifting our heads from the banquet table when something goes wrong. But even with warnings and mishaps we keep returning because for most of us, free is just too good to pass up.

FCC opens the Pandora’s Box

Lately we’ve finally been awakened to the fact that our free lunch is financed by one of our most fundamental rights – the right to privacy.  The only way the Internet can continue to serve up vast quantities of content and services at no charge is to collect data, and lots of it.  It’s no longer a secret that this is happening, and most people seem to be okay with it.  I mean, really, does it matter since it’s anonymous metadata, usually not associated with me, and it’s not like they have my name, address and phone number – right?  If that wasn’t the case before, it most certainly can happen much more easily in the near future.  The FCC’s most recent decisions on ISP data rights and responsibilities change this whole ball game.  At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I’d like to emphatically state that there’s nothing you do online that your upstream provider (ISP) does not see.

How Much Will Privacy Cost My Bank?

Let’s step away from the personal privacy aspects of this, because there are many people and watchdog organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation that have always, and will continue to advocate on behalf of individuals and their rights to privacy.  Instead, consider the stakes for the Financial Services community with its vast storehouses of highly sensitive personal information, its unquenchable thirst for data and its endless streams of transactional activity.  I’m not for a minute suggesting that our ISPs will start to sell access to this information – that would be criminal and offenders would be punished both legally and economically as their clients left in droves.  A far more likely scenario is that secure, private and encrypted transport services will become a new revenue source for a mature telecommunications industry that has seen bandwidth become a commodity item and brand loyalty evaporate.

No Safe Harbor – Stormy Seas of Social Media

At one point Facebook was a simple, fast and uncomplicated site where posts went up on a wall and connections happened rather organically.  The Facebook platform of 2017 bears little resemblance to that fledgling service that the world has flocked to since 2010.  Facebook has changed in a way far more intrusive than advertising, it’s become a social engineering launchpad.  Companies like Cambridge Analytica could not achieve the type of “psychographic analysis” they claim without the vast quantity of data points that Facebook users in particular provide so willingly.  Part of the reason why we see more and more effective methods of “Spear Phishing” as the basis for a socially-engineering hacking effort, is that there’s so much information out there for people to scoop up.  For those who feel secure in their privacy settings and secure circle of friends and family on Facebook, let’s think for a minute about the type of detailed information that can be found on your LinkedIn profile.  Combine that with some high quality search bots to scoop up content associated with you, your alma matter and your previous employers and I think someone could put together a pretty comprehensive profile with very little effort.

A Great Compromise on the horizon?

The Good News and the Bad News is that many people in the data management business recognize the inherent risks and need to balance the economics of monetization with privacy concerns.  That statement should indicate to you that there can and will be tradeoffs as we move forward.  As both individuals and as professionals, we need to consider the economics of free, while we make some very consequential decisions about how we will monetize our own privacy and that of others that rely upon us as providers of goods and services.

In my next installment, we’ll take a look at some interesting data on Cybersecurity from people I know who fight the bad guys in both the public and private sector, then talk about the online lives of Millennials.

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CRM in FinServ – Client Relationship Management, Change Risk Management or Both? http://unapen.com/4470/crm-or-change-risk-mgmt Fri, 26 May 2017 16:45:50 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4470
Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

– Charles Darwin

Change Will Happen

Per the talking heads on the various news channels, the investor class is currently “fat and happy”. Volatility in the market is at 25 year low, the economy is humming and the unemployment rate continues to drop.  If I didn’t know any better, I would think this was August of 2007… life was good and then that pesky recession happened.    How about August of 2001 – my friend Tom said at a barbeque at his house– “It doesn’t get any better than this”.  We lost Tom on 9/11.    And let’s not forget October of 1987 – hopefully some of you who are reading this were born then.  The term Black Friday was coined and Black Monday was resuscitated.  People at the local pub were asking me what it all meant because I had a business suit on.  Each of these dates have something in common – Change. Certainly the change was not all the same:
  • - An economic bubble burst
  • - A group of terrorists attacked the US
  • - Global trading, timing and technology converge in the worst way.
But all of these changes had a significant impact on the market and those who invested in it – from 20% market loss to almost 50% market loss.  If you weren’t alive or working in the industry during some of these times, then hopefully you studied these periods in one of your business classes.  I am going to take a deeper dive into the oldest of these because it accentuates my point about change. 

Industry Growth and the Changing Face of Your Client

In the five-year period leading up to August of 1987, the Dow Jones increased by over 100%, peaking at over 2600.   I know this number sounds quaint by today’s standard but this was the true beginning of the long growth period of the last 3 decades.   There are many factors that contributed to this growth.  I would argue that a little piece of tax legislation called ERISA which was put into place in 1974 was one of the biggest.  Up until that point, pension plans, savings accounts and bonds were what most people used to save for their retirements.  ERISA brought about a seismic shift in who was investing in the stock market.  For the most part pension plans were for unions, executives and very large companies. In 1980 there were roughly 250,000 defined benefit pension plans.  Even though this institutional money was significant in the market, it was nothing compared to what was ahead.  By 1991, pension and retirement funds owned 40% of American common stock but, by 2005 the number of pension plans dropped from 250,000 to 80,000.  This change was coming from retail investment fueled in part by the massive expansion of the Mutual Fund Industry as a global entity. This changed the face of the investor class.  What worked to manage clients in the 80s, 90s, or even the beginning of 2000s is not going to work now or in the future.  My grandmother who passed away in 2003 at the ripe old age of 105 was a teacher so she had a pension, but knew little about its investments.  She just cashed the check.  Imagine if all investors were like my grandmother. 

Changing Demands on Relationship Managers

Depending on your company’s focus, the average relationship manager must keep track of the basics associated to accounts – names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of interested parties. But they also need to track anything from birthdays, spouses and kids names, investment objectives, the number of accounts and dollars a particular Financial Advisor has brought to the programs your company offers, and now more than ever, all that is social media.  Let’s face facts – the way and how we communicate is changing, therefore the way a client is managed is changing.

What Should Your CRM Do For Your Company

I believe that the most critical function of a CRM is to help you manage change.  This is where comprehensive CRM comes into play.  When change occurs in the market, and we know that happens often, you need to be prepared and so should your CRM.  

Your CRM:

MUST

  • - Mail Merge for Email blasts or old fashion letters
  • - Note your Emails
  • - Schedule your Meetings
  • - Document your phone calls
 
Joan Walker, David Gemma, UNAPEN, CRM, client relationship management, customer relationship Management, Change Risk Management, asset managers, asset managers in Financial Services, Wrap managers, SMA managers, Financial Advisors, ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, CRM for Fund sales

SHOULD

  • - Determine which clients and accounts will be most impacted by change to get that email or letter
  • - Track who hasn't gotten an email
  • - Establish your opportunities, next steps and potential revenue
  • - Inform you of holdings and investment trending at the individual and firm level so that you are prepared for that phone call even when it is unexpected.
 
In this ever-changing financial world, CRMs are no longer a “nice to have” but rather a necessity.  Don’t settle for anything less than exactly what your company needs.  On that note, let me close with another wonderful quote.

“Change or die” – Alan Deutschman   

About UNAPEN

Every asset management firm has a different value proposition, otherwise there would be only one asset manager. Most CRM vendors want you to adapt to their system, which seems arrogant to us.  Here at UNAPEN, we have a staff of industry experts that recognizes the unique value that you provide to your clients and helps adapt and integrate our ClientLogix CRM with not only the information from your core systems, but also with the way you do business. ClientLogix is flexible enough to accommodate how you work as a team, and prioritizes your actions to optimize your success and your clients’ satisfaction. Don’t spend time trying to figure out where information is or what to do next, that’s what computers are for… ClientLogix proactively pushes information to Compliance, Operations, Portfolio Managers, Executives, Sales and Marketing teams to make them work as a cohesive team. Experience the difference ClientLogix can make in bringing your firm to the next tier of growth and success.  

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UNAPEN Newsletter – May 2017 http://unapen.com/4513/unapen-newsletter-may-2017 Tue, 23 May 2017 15:00:39 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4513

Business & Technology News

 

NewsLetter Highlights

 

Infor Partners with Marketo

ClientLogix CRM - FinServ Marketing Automation for Any Firm's Size, Needs, Resources and Budget

ITComplete - Proactive IT Services, No Tissues Needed for WannaCry

Microsoft and the Law - Cracking Down on Fake Microsoft Support

Protecting Your Kids Online - Safety Tips and Video

Monthly Trivia Question - Memorial Day

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Why would anyone WannaCry? Ransomware should be a thing of the past! http://unapen.com/4557/wannacry-ransomware Mon, 15 May 2017 12:00:25 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4557

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of  ASCII since 2014

This month, the SANS OUCH! newsletter focuses on the recent WannaCry ransomware and how you can protect yourself from similar attacks.

Personally, it amazes me that attacks like this are even still an issue for any reputable company as the protections to prevent them are reasonably affordable and are essentially a baseline of security that any firm should have.

Let's Cover the Basics

1.)    Keep your systems up to date – These attacks are exploiting a hole that was patched in March.  With all the tools and services available to ensure your systems are patched, it is negligent to not have applied this update by now.  Through ITComplete™, UNAPEN can even resolve the issue for operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports.

2.)    The attack has known signatures - so using a reputable, fully featured malware protection package should help block infections.  The key is to ensure these protections are on, operating properly and reporting to the correct people if an issue is discovered.  Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security is incorporated into UNAPEN ITComplete™ and has the protections needed.

3.)    Finally, the goal of ransomware is to collect ransom - even if an attack got through the first two protections (as WannaCry would not) you only need to pay ransom if you can’t recover on your own.  Active Business Continuity Systems like ITComplete DataSafe™ allow clients to spin up a clean copy of a protected system in minutes to recover from a hardware, software, or even malware issue.

Enjoy!

Get the Newsletter

Here is a link to the SANS OUCH! newsletter

OUCH! is published by the SANS Securing The Human program and is distributed under the Creative Commons BY--‐NC--‐ND 3.0 license. Permission is granted to distribute this newsletter as long as you reference the source, the distribution is not modified and it is not used for commercial purposes. For translating or more information, please contact ouch@securingthehuman.org.

 

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

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Free Report – Datto’s Ransomware Report 2016 http://unapen.com/4360/report-datto-ransomware-2016 Fri, 05 May 2017 16:51:12 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4360
UNAPEN, UNAPEN ITComplete, Datto, Ransomware, Datto Ransomeware, cyber security, cryptolocker, phishing, hacking, ITComplete DataSafe, DataSafe, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Financial Services, Business Continuity Financial Services, BDR, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Ransomeware protection

ABOUT THIS REPORT

With survey findings gathered from 1,100 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and around the world, Datto’s report provides unique visibility into the current state of ransomware from the perspective of the Channel and the small businesses who are dealing with these malware infections on a daily basis.
The report provides a wealth of detail into ransomware, including its frequency, the most common strains, the industries and systems most targeted, the impact, and the strategies and critical business solutions necessary to ensure recovery and continuity in the face of the growing threat.

UNAPEN & DATTO

  • - Working together to prevent ransomware

  • - Enabling your firm to maintain operations even if you suffer a ransomware attack!


 

ITComplete™

A multi-layered IT strategy that protects your firm, your clients and your budget!

MSP, IT, IT Services, Outsourced IT, Managed IT, UNAPEN, ITComplete, DATASAFE, NETSCAN, ITCOMPLETE DATASAFE, ITCOMPLETE NETSCAN

 

Outsourced IT Services

 

UNAPEN, UNAPEN ITCOMPLETE, ITCOMPLETE, ITCOMPLETE DATASAFE, ITCOMPLETE DISASTER RECOVERY, ITCOMPLETE BUSINESS CONTINUITY, ITCOMPLETE DATA BACKUP

Local & Cloud Data Backup,

Business Continuity

& Disaster Recovery

 

 

 

ITComplete NetScan - Network & Security Assessment from UNAPEN

 

Cyber Security

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CRM – Addressing the needs of the Wrap/SMA Industry http://unapen.com/4324/crm-for-wrap-sma-industry Wed, 03 May 2017 16:47:10 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4324
ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, UNAPEN, Infor CRM, Infor, CRM, Wealth Management CRM, Family Office CRM, Asset Management CRM, Investment Management CRM

CRM Solutions Challenged by Complex Wrap/SMA Relationships

HNWI & Institutional vs. Wrap/SMA

CRM solutions for investment management have mainly focused on High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) and Institutional clients, but firms running Wrap/SMA business are stuck trying to shoe-horn their relationships with sponsors, branches and FA’s into a relationship structure that doesn’t really fit.

What’s worse is when I hear the exasperation of Wrap/SMA managers that have been searching for a CRM solution. First they have to explain their business to the CRM vendor, then they to go into a demo and find out that they are looking at a HNWI system that comes with only promises that it can be adapted to handle Wrap/SMA relationships.

Let's Take a Trip

How do your wholesalers currently plan a trip?
  • Do they know how much business in each strategy has been gained or lost in the past quarter or year for a specific branch or FA?
  • Are they aware of which FA’s in each branch are trending up or down, and which are not doing any business with them at all?
  • How much more business could they create if they had this information at their fingertips?

Stop wasting time and money chasing information and trying to figure out what’s happening with your products and distribution channels. It’s a complex business and a tool that’s fit-to-task will provide insight into where you are successful and where you need to focus within an intricate web of products, sponsors, branch offices and financial advisors.

CRM Built for Wrap/SMA

It’s a great feeling when you show up with a product like ClientLogix CRM and these same managers breathe a sigh of relief and say “Finally, someone who knows our business and has the relationships that we need as part of their standard demo!”

And with pre-built data connectors into major portfolio accounting systems along with the flexibility to adapt to the highly variable data formats from sponsor platforms, business trends/flows and relationships that used to be nebulous are now clearly visible.

Providing this type of insight for both management and wholesalers can make a significant difference in the success of your firm.

ONE SOLUTION FOR INSTITUTIONAL ASSET MANAGERS, PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGERS & FAMILY OFFICES

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Infor to Acquire Birst http://unapen.com/4551/infor-acquires-birst Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:00:52 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4551

PRESS RELEASE

Leading Cloud-Native Business Intelligence Platform to Provide Greater Actionable Insights across the Enterprise

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UNAPEN Newsletter – April 2017 http://unapen.com/4461/unapen-newsletter-april-2017 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:00:14 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4461

Business & Technology News

 

NewsLetter Highlights

PriceFusion - Pricing & Reference Data Interface for Advent APX

Business Intelligence & Compliance....Meet CRM

Infor CRM Integration with Marketo Marketing Automation Announcement

Videos: What is the New Microsoft Edge Browser?

Boost Your Knowledge of Password Vulnerabilities & Best Practices

Monthly Trivia Question - Easter Treats

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CRM in Financial Services – Grow Assets without Increasing Staff http://unapen.com/3347/crm-in-finserv Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:45:37 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3347

CRM for Investment Advisors, Wealth Mgrs, & Family Offices

Grow Assets, Not Overhead

New eBook | Read it now ›

Better Client Service for More Clients with the Same Staff

15 years of providing CRM solutions integrated with Portfolio Accounting & Trading systems has taught us a lot of valuable lessons, interesting that many lessons are industry-independent… it’s all about understanding the culture and optimizing the operational workflow within the firm that tends to drive user adoption, and ultimately, efficiency and value.

As you consider a CRM solution, it’s important to ask a key question: Are you on the right path to CRM success?

To get your copy of Make CRM stick: Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization, click here.

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – March 2017 http://unapen.com/4233/unapen-newsletter-march-2017 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:00:21 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4233

Business & Technology News

 

NewsLetter Highlights

How CRM Sales Intelligence Drives Fund Sales at Lord Abbett

What Does the Cutting Edge Technology Look Like for Business Continuity?

Free Report: 2016 CyberSecurity Roundup - A Record Year for Enterprise Threats

Sports Meets Technology: Infor Data Science & The Brooklyn Nets

Mitigating Security Concerns from Mobile Apps

Monthly Trivia Question - NCAA March Madness

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Marketo® and Infor Partner to Transform Customer Experience for Global Enterprises http://unapen.com/4534/infor-marketo-partnership Wed, 08 Mar 2017 14:30:08 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4534

Press Release

Strategic partnership provides broad, seamless digital engagement solutions to power the Engagement Economy

 

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – February 2017 http://unapen.com/4142/unapen-newsletter-february-2017 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:00:49 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4142

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

UNAPEN recognized by Infor as MicroVertical Specialist for Investment Management, Wealth Management, Banking & Family Office

Does Your CRM Proactively Alert Compliance Officers & Operations?

Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cyber Security Solutions

Travel Tips: Keeping Your Devices Secure

Microsoft Product Lifecycle Updates

Monthly Trivia Question - Presidents Day

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UNAPEN, Inc. Integrates Laser App Software to Advance Asset Manager Work Flow http://unapen.com/4113/unapen-integrates-laser-app Tue, 24 Jan 2017 21:08:00 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4113

Press Release

Ontario, California – January 23, 2017 – Laser App Software, the premier provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, has announced their newest integration with UNAPEN, Inc., a provider of services, solutions and products for asset managers involved with Private Client, Institutional and Wrap/SMA business.

 

UNAPEN, Inc. provides CRM and other extensive business solutions to financial firms with a focus on those serving ultra-high net worth individuals. Their ClientLogix™ solution helps different groups within an organization work cohesively, keep on task, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service. Choosing to integrate with Laser App was motivated by the objective to further advance client work flow by offering the most up to date e-forms library in the industry. Following a short installment period, UNAPEN began offering both Laser App’s desktop and cloud software solutions, Laser App Enterprise 11 and Laser App Anywhere, to clients. Delivering both desktop and cloud software solutions opens the door for more customers by eliminating any and all user limitations.

 

“Integrating with Laser App was a natural next step for us,” said David Gemma, CMO and Managing Director at UNAPEN. “We recently celebrated our 25th year in business. We have reached this point by listening to our clients and valuing their feedback. Laser App was a demand from our clients that we could not ignore and it has received a very positive response from all users.”

 

UNAPEN’s long history has seen it move through several economic cycles and thrive through each one by being responsive and nimble. The Meriden, Connecticut-based company found that turning to Laser App offered its clients a substantially more efficient work flow system.  New demands are constantly arising for asset managers, and the solutions offered by Laser App enable UNAPEN clients to maximize technology utilization.

 

“Working with UNAPEN gave us the opportunity to work with a leader in the industry,” said Robert Powell, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Laser App Software. “Our mission is to provide solutions that are resourceful to our clients across the financial services industry. Integrating with a new company means reaching new users who will benefit from our products.”

 

Laser App Software is used throughout the financial community as an efficient and simple work method solution. Laser App Enterprise is an installed solution that provides advisors with the ability to process electronic forms quickly. Laser App Anywhere operates with modern browsers on a variety of devices, offering a new level of convenience to the mobile financial advisor. UNAPEN Inc. chose to integrate both Laser App Enterprise and Laser App Anywhere simultaneously, a feat indicative of its impressive stature among solution providers.

 

-END-

 

About Laser App Software

Laser App Software creates advisor friendly solutions that combine state‐of‐the‐art forms-filling technology with a massive library of industry related forms. Forms are maintained by Laser App so representatives can focus on their clients, rather than filling out paperwork. Founded in 1995 by financial advisor Ed Beggs, Laser App has pioneered forms-filling in the financial services industry. For more information on Laser App, visit http://www.laserapp.com.

 

About UNAPEN

Since 1991, UNAPEN, Inc. has provided services, solutions and products tailored for asset managers involved with Private Client, Institutional and Wrap/SMA business. UNAPEN is comprised of seasoned professionals whose expertise in the securities industry uniquely positions them to advise clients on the value of technology. Our goal is to streamline operations and workflow, centralize data, and automate highly complex manual tasks to make your firm more successful and competitive. As a service provider and partner in your success, UNAPEN provides a unique skill set comprised of in-depth business knowledge specific to asset management, combined with unparalleled technological expertise and service delivery capability. For more information about UNAPEN, visit: http://unapen.com/.

 

About ClientLogix™

ClientLogix™ is the Premier Enterprise CRM & Mobile solution for Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers and Family Offices - built on the Infor CRM platform. This solution helps people from different business units around the firm to work cohesively, prevent tasks from slipping through the cracks, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service. Combine that with automated Compliance monitoring of all key data and your firm will evolve from being completely reactionary to actually having some foresight that can help to drive asset growth while avoiding Compliance and Client Relationship issues.

 

Media Contact

Aspectus

Matthew Sheahan

o: 646-681-6599, m: 917-647-3242

laserapp@aspectuspr.com

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – January 2017 http://unapen.com/4138/unapen-newsletter-january-2017 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:00:58 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4138

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

UNAPEN’s Strategic Partnerships with Technology Titans

ClientLogix CRM Integrated with Laser App for Wealth Advisors

Thomson Reuters Awarded Best Buy Side Pricing & Valuation Service 2016

Protect Yourself from Modern Day Cyber Con Artists

Tech Innovation: Microsoft Cloud Cars

Monthly Trivia Question - New Year's Resolutions

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UNAPEN Newsletter – December 2016 http://unapen.com/4132/4132 Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:00:47 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4132

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

A Holiday Message From Our CEO

See What Your Network is NOT Telling You

UNAPEN Integrates ClientLogix CRM with Laser App

Discarding Old Mobile Devices...What's the Risk?

NY Times: Datto CEO Interview

Monthly Trivia Question - Reindeer Games

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UNAPEN Newsletter – November 2016 http://unapen.com/4100/unapen-newsletter-november-2016 Thu, 17 Nov 2016 17:00:17 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4100

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

QuickBooks Desktop Cross Platform Integration

Datto is Putting Malware on Notice

An Enlightening Look on the Cloud and Security

Thomson Reuters - What Drives Stock Prices?

Monthly Trivia Question

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Infor Recognized as Leader in CRM Value Matrix by Nucleus Research http://unapen.com/4053/infor-crm-leader-nucleus-research Tue, 08 Nov 2016 20:22:18 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4053

Infor Customer Experience Suite Acknowledged for Usability, Ease of Integration and Industry-Specific Capabilities.

Nucleus Research placed vendors in the Leader category by looking at advances in usability and functionality in three core pillars of CRM: sales, marketing and customer service. Leaders in the Matrix are not only delivering mobile and analytics capabilities, but advancing usability and access in both areas to help with greater productivity.

One area that sets Infor CRM apart from others is the focus on pre-building the business logic for specific micro-vertical markets. ClientLogix CRM from UNAPEN is the premier adaptation of the Infor CRM platform for Financial Services, providing an enterprise-grade solution that simplifies the daily challenges of Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers, & Family Offices.

About Nucleus Research

Nucleus Research is a global provider of investigative, case-based technology research and advisory services that provide real-world insight into maximizing technology value.

About Infor

Infor builds business software for specific industries in the cloud. With 15,000 employees and over 90,000 customers in more than 200 countries and territories, Infor software is designed for progress.

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – October 2016 http://unapen.com/4063/unapen-newsletter-october-2016 Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:36:08 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=4063

Business & Technology News

NewsLetter Highlights

Data Maturity in Asset Management Firms

PriceFusion - Thomson Reuters DataScope Select/Advent APX Data Integration Bridge

4 Key Steps to Staying Secure in the Digital Age

XBAR - Wealth Management CRM inside Microsoft Outlook

Empowering Kansas City Employees with Microsoft Office 365

Monthly Trivia Question

 

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Data Maturity in the Investment Advisory Community http://unapen.com/3966/data-maturity-investment-advisory Wed, 05 Oct 2016 18:28:20 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3966

HELPING ASSET MANAGEMENT FIRMS GROW AND COMPETE

In celebrating 25 years of working with institutional asset managers, wealth managers, hedge funds, fund of funds and family offices, we’ve encountered the entire spectrum of data maturity in these firms. It’s easiest to place these firms into 3 categories of data maturity that reflect how they process data and the level of automation they use to gain an edge against their peers:

Hindsight

These firms typically do a lot of manual manipulation of data and the knowledge that they glean from their data is all about looking in the rear view mirror to figure out what happened.

Insight

At this stage, firms have implemented solutions that automate data bridges/integrations between core systems and aggregate data so they can go looking for information that is current and report on it for further evaluation.

Foresight

These are the firms that are growing both their client base and margins simultaneously because they can service more clients without adding to staff.  Their information is automatically processed, parceled and proactively delivered to its target (individuals and teams) and the data content is matched with the role of the target or business unit.  No one is searching for data, instead, valuable information is created and sent to them:

  • - Compliance Officers are notified of exceptions, outliers and drift that is or may be cause for concern,
  • - Operations receives critical data elements necessary for portfolio setup and maintenance,
  • - Client Service knows who’s calling and has the client record on their screen before they even answer an inbound call, and are reminded of upcoming and pending tasks
  • - Portfolio Managers and Traders are in tune with the prioritization of what needs to happen when, and in which portfolio
  • - Sales and Marketing are inextricably linked so that Sales success and failure helps refine and improve Marketing efforts in a heuristic feedback loop.
  • - CEO/CFO/COO can see trends in growth of specific portfolio strategies and funds, most profitable distribution channels, intermediaries and referrals sources, and perhaps more importantly areas that are untapped or declining.

Some advisory firms zoom through these phases but most get stuck within the first two. 

UNAPEN will continue to help firms evolve in order to be more competitive and profitable than their peers.

ONE SOLUTION FOR INSTITUTIONAL ASSET MANAGERS, PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGERS & FAMILY OFFICES

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What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 4 http://unapen.com/3908/ria-system-conversion-part-4 Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:34:51 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3908 Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

See Part 2 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

See Part 3 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 3

When last we left off, you thought that there would be smooth sailing since communication was firmly established. Now comes the fun part, bringing it all together.

A Unified Vision

The vision that was created by the two project teams needs to be shared with the entire company. Most of the time this comes during implementation weekend and the weeks that follow. This is where you will find out if right people were involved in the project, were they empowered for success and did they communicate effectively. Another question that will be answered is – did the project and timeline take into consideration all the needs of all people who will use the system. The answer will be no.
After any implementation, there will be tweaks. These may come to light in training sessions. Training sessions will drive adoption and if those sessions are not tailored for how the users need the system to work, adoption will be low. If they are tailored for the specific tasks, there will be input from the users letting you know if you hit the mark. If not, this brings us to the wonderful world of change orders.

Change Orders – good or bad?

Change Orders can happen throughout the conversion and implementation. They can also continue for years after an implementation. If people are using the system, they will inevitably want to make changes and additions. This is not a bad thing, especially if the changes will do one or more of the following: increase productivity, increase accountability and reduce risk. Any software that a company uses should have those three factors.
Not all change orders are created equal, but the questions that need to be answered are:

  1. What is the Cost?
  2. Who requested the change?
  3. What is the change, including the following?
    • Overview
    • Areas for the system that will be affected
    • Screen designs of new functionality
  4. Is there a compliance component to the change?
  5. Who should sign off on the change?
  6. Will it impact current work flow?
  7. Are there other options?
  8. Is there a work around?

This will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether the change order should be approved. For example, a change to add social security to all email of a recipient may be inexpensive, but would it pass compliance?

Each Change Order will be like a mini project. Your vendor should demonstrate time and again their competency with their system and your company as they develop and implement each change order. A good vendor will question and validate your requests. The last thing you want to do is to make enhancements the work against each other. Remember the cartoon from the 3rd installment? Well I will leave you with an update to that cartoon – you never want to find yourself in the position of the 2nd to last panel.

 UNAPEN data conversion, portfolio accounting conversion, APX conversion, Axys conversion, QED conversion

 

Joan Walker is a Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc, a nationally recognized consulting and software development firm that provides software and technical consulting to the financial services industry. Follow on twitter @UNAPEN.

 

Check out these other related blog articles:

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 3

5 Keys to Success – CRM Implementations for an RIA

 

Subscribe to the UNAPEN blog

 

 

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Free eBook – Financial Services Firms: Add Business Continuity to Your Bottom Line http://unapen.com/3355/ebook_bcs_for_finserv Tue, 02 Aug 2016 17:17:53 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3355

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

Getting Ahead of Business Disruptions with Strategic Thinking

Business continuity is a thoughtful process that describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A true business continuity solution will protect data on-premise and in the cloud, and also details a data restoration strategy.

Unfortunately, many firms take shortcuts in these areas due to the historically high costs of implementing comprehensive solutions.

New SEC rules for RIA firms

US businesses lose billions of dollars each year to data loss, and recent studies indicate that if your data center is down for more than a week, the likelihood of bankruptcy escalates significantly.

The SEC is defining new rules for Business Continuity Planning for RIAs to help protect investors from the fallout of this type of occurrence.

In this eBook, topics cover:

     - Outdated practices that create a false sense of security

     - The costs of cyber attacks and downtime

     - Best practices for IT in Financial Services

And more

To get your copy of Financial Services Firms: Add Business Continuity to Your Bottom Line, click here.

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

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UNAPEN Joins the Infor Partner Network to Deliver Enterprise CRM to FinServ http://unapen.com/3944/unapen-joins-infor-partner-network Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:38:18 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3944

UNAPEN Joins the Infor Partner Network to Deliver Enterprise CRM for Financial Services

UNAPEN's 25 years of Asset Management expertise to drive expansion of Infor CRM platform.

 

Meriden, CT, July 6, 2016 - UNAPEN, Inc. is one of the newest members of the Infor Partner Network(IPN) Channel Partner program , setting the stage for the Infor CRM platform to aggressively expand in the specialized Financial Services vertical.  The comprehensive ClientLogix™ CRM Suite is poised to tackle competitors from Microsoft and SalesForce.com, by offering the premier adaptation of the Infor CRM platform as an enterprise-grade solution that simplifies the daily challenges of Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers, Family Offices, Private Equity, Hedge Funds & Fund of Funds.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

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3 Ways to Prevent the Latest, Sneaky Hacker Threats http://unapen.com/3298/prevent-hacker-threats Wed, 22 Jun 2016 14:06:47 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3298

Outsourced IT, Data Backup, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Protect Your Business 

Cyber Attacks Take Another Nasty, but Preventable, Turn

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of ASCII 

Recently there have been several high profile attacks against weak passwords and remote access utilities.

Like lions picking off the weakest gazelles in a herd, hackers are compromising weak systems in order to obtain passwords and then using those passwords in an attempt to access more secure systems.

People using TeamViewer, GoToMyPC and other remote access tools have been reporting unknown users taking over their systems.

All investigations have pointed to these victims using the same weak password on multiple systems and not enabling 2-factor authentication where it is available. See Two Factor Hack – Why Your Clients Might Not Be As Safe As You Think They Are!

People using good password policies and extra security where they can have been spared this nightmare.

I was even notified from a couple of hobby-related sites I belong to that the administrators of those sites are forcing password changes due to this issue.  See ‘Short Passwords Lead to Millions of Compromised Accounts’ in the UNAPEN May 2016 Newsletter.

 

So How Can You Protect Yourself?

Top 3 ways to reduce Hacker Threat:

  1. Use strong passwords… sentences, multiple character types, spaces, etc. – see How to Create a Strong Password and Remember It
  2. Use different passwords for each online service you use…particularly those that protect sensitive data. There are password managers you can use that help create, store and use multiple complex passwords – see The Best Password Managers for 2016 for a review. Personally, I like LastPass and Dashlane.
  3. Turn on additional security whenever it is available, …typically a one-time password sent via either email or text message…if available, text message is a better choice than email.

 

Proactively Protect Your Firm from Hackers!

To find out how to get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost, check out UNAPEN ITComplete.

Have a Plan in Case Something Does Go Wrong!

To find out how to get comprehensive Data Backup, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery services, check out UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

 

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Free eBook – The Business Guide to Ransomware http://unapen.com/3242/ebook-guide-to-ransomware Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:48:19 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3242

Outsourced IT, Data Backup, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prepare Your Business Today

New eBook | Read it now ›

The Many Flavors of Ransomware Today

More and more, ransomware has emerged as a major threat to individuals and businesses alike. Ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data on infected systems, has become a lucrative option for cyber extortionists.

When the malware is run, it locks victim’s files and allows criminals to demand payment to release them.

Organizations of all types and sizes have been impacted by ransomware, but small businesses can be particularly vulnerable to attacks.

Ransomware is on the rise

In a recent study conducted by security software vendor McAfee Labs, researchers identified more than 4 million samples of ransomware in Q2 of 2015, including 1.2 million new samples.

That compares with fewer than 1.5 million total samples in Q3 of 2013 (400,000 new). Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.

In this eBook, our partners at datto cover:

  • Top 7 common types of ransomware that threaten businesses today
  • How the malware is spread
  • Best practices for protecting your business
  • And more

To get your copy of The Business Guide to Ransomware: Everything to know to keep your company afloat, click here.

 

Avoid Ransomware by Proactively Protecting Your Firm

To find out how to get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost, check out  UNAPEN ITComplete.

To find out how to get comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery services, check out  UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

 

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UNAPEN Newsletter – May 2016 http://unapen.com/3282/unapen-newsletter-may-2016 Tue, 31 May 2016 16:11:55 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3282

Business & Technology News

UNAPEN

Some Highlights from This Month's Newsletter

Who’s Decoding the Body? Gamers are!

Short Passwords Lead to Millions of Compromised Accounts

Experts Predict the Future of Data Analytics & Visualization

Anbot, the World's First Armed Police Robot (Video)

And Much More!

Check it out UNAPEN Newsletter - May 2016.

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Free eBook – Make CRM Stick – 8 Ways to Increase CRM Adoption http://unapen.com/3231/make-crm-stick Tue, 24 May 2016 15:20:04 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3231

Infor Customer and Marketing Management

Make CRM stick

New eBook | Read it now ›

8 Ways to Increase CRM Adoption in Your Organization

A survey of sales and marketing professionals revealed that even though most are required to use CRM, 79% just “check the box” to satisfy their bosses.* This lack of adoption indicates that making CRM stick takes more than just buying software and throwing it at your employees.

As you consider a CRM solution, it’s important to ask a key question: Are you on the right path to CRM success?

Before you make your decision, read the eBook, Make CRM stick—Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization.

In this eBook, we share eight key points you need to consider for CRM success.

To get your copy of Make CRM stick: Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization, click here.

 

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Two Factor Hack – Why Your Clients Might Not Be As Safe As You Think They Are http://unapen.com/3213/two-factor-hack Wed, 18 May 2016 16:21:46 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3213 By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of ASCII since 2014

Protect Both Your Own and Your Clients’ Personal and Professional Data

 

Two factor authentication (2fa) is available with many Internet sites and services (though you may need to manually choose to use it) and it can greatly increase the security of your clients’ accounts.

Rather than simply relying on a static username and password, 2fa introduces a second authentication entry such as a onetime password sent via text to a cell phone, an ever-changing code entered from a physical token or token app on a smartphone, or a one-time password sent to an email address.

Of these three options, there is one that is less secure and may even equate to a completely false sense of security.

Read the full article published in BusinessSolutions magazine here

Find out how you can protect your firm on an ongoing basis with:

 

UNAPEN, ITCOMPLETE, OUTSOURCED IT, MANAGED IT SERVICES, MSP

DATASAFE Logo1 transparent

ITComplete NetScan - Network & Security Assessment from UNAPEN

 

 

 

 

 

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What Our Clients Are Saying http://unapen.com/427/what-our-clients-are-saying Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:00:34 +0000 http://sealdevsites.com/unapen/?p=427 “The more we learned about UNAPEN, the more we realized we had a true partner.”

St. Germain Investment Management

UNAPEN’s unique combination of products, services and industry experience has provided a framework for success for firms of all sizes and types. Every client is important to us. We put a great deal of effort behind our customer satisfaction, products and solutions.

Read More: Client Testimonials

Read More: Case Studies

 

Unlock The Potential!

Call Today

203.269.6111

Email

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Free eBook – The 4 Business Continuity Planning Essentials http://unapen.com/3112/free-ebook-4-bcdr-essentials Sun, 27 Mar 2016 18:25:53 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3112 Business Continuity Solutions in Financial Services since 1995

UNAPEN, Inc. has been a premier solution provider in the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery(BCDR) business for over 2 decades.  We initially provided these services for investment management firms with over $10 billion in assets under management(AUM), and then scaled our solution down by a magnitude to be able to provide the same services for firms with $1 billion AUM around the turn of the century.

The problem was that over 80% of RIA firms are below the $1 billion mark, but they have the same needs and have to adhere to the same SEC guidelines for BCDR as their larger counterparts.

A few years ago, UNAPEN partnered with Datto to create ITComplete DataSafe, and because of that partnership, we have been able to cost-effectively scale our solution down by another magnitude to firms with $100 million AUM.  Advances in technology have now enabled the majority of the RIA community to afford the same comprehensive local and remote data backup and data replication/restoration strategies from hardened, bi-coastal facilities that the big firms use(all data residing on US soil) – truly a dream-come-true that levels the playing field for most of the industry.

Download the Free eBook here – The 4 Business Continuity Planning Essentials

UNAPEN now offers Cyber Security solutions – Check out our ITComplete NetScan solution here.

Need Fixed-Cost IT Outsourcing? – Check out our ITComplete solution here.

Business Continuity for Non-Profit Organizations(NPO)

As our success grew in the investment management industry, partners at these firms asked us if we could help out in other industries.  Many of these partners sit on Boards for NPO and these organizations had limited budgets, but, like the smaller RIA community, have the same needs as larger organizations.  UNAPEN met the challenge and extended our BCDR solutions to the NPO community and offered reduced pricing to reflect our appreciation for the great services that these NPO are providing and in recognition of their budgetary limitations.

Business Continuity for Any Industry

With our success in the NPO arena, the UNAPEN BCDR solution is now industry-agnostic – we provide these long-tested solutions to any firm/company/organization with a minimum of 10 computers which can be any combination of workstations, servers, laptops, and tablets.

Find out more about our BCDR solutions by calling us at 203-269-6111.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

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CRM – 6 Steps to Ensuring a Culture of Compliance http://unapen.com/3082/culture-of-compliance Thu, 28 Jan 2016 20:44:26 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3082 6 Steps to Ensuring a Culture of Compliance

Over the past 15 years of providing enterprise CRM solutions to Investment Advisory firms, it was always the Chief Compliance Officers that were the most excited about a new CRM solution.

Step 4 in the following article, Breaking Down Silos, explains exactly why:

       1) Fostering collaboration between business units,

       2) Consolidating data from across the firm into a centralized portal to identify key trends & constantly monitor & proactively alert Compliance Officers of (potential) issues.

Automating Compliance Monitoring

There is just too much information for a CCO to sift through manually.  The right CRM helps people from different business units around the firm to work cohesively, prevent tasks from slipping through the cracks, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service.

Combine that with automated Compliance monitoring of all key data and your firm will evolve from being completely reactionary to actually having some foresight that can help to avoid Compliance and Client Relationship issues.

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

 

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Infor CRM Receives Top Scores vs. 80 Competitors – SelectHub http://unapen.com/3020/infor-crm-selecthub Tue, 15 Dec 2015 21:24:45 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=3020 Infor CRM takes a top spot based upon analysts evaluation of rankings, features and tools.

 

Newly released SelectHub Leaderboard ranks top CRM systems across 20 key user and business requirements.  One area that sets Infor CRM apart from others is the focus on pre-building the business logic for specific micro-vertical markets.

 

ClientLogix CRM is the premier adaptation of the Infor CRM platform for Financial Services, providing an enterprise-grade solution that simplifies the daily challenges of Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers, Family Offices, Private Equity, Hedge Funds & Fund of Funds.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

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What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 3 http://unapen.com/2963/ria-system-conversion-part-3 Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:30:02 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2963 Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

See Part 2 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

When last we left off, I had posed the question “What is the top priority of any relationship?” Have you ever been to a company workshop? Have you ever been to a team building exercise? Have you ever watched Dr. Phil? The answer is COMMUNICATION! Without it your company will be dead in the water.

Communication Breakdown

When I started in my first job that dealt with technology, I was an EDP Liaison. For those of you who were born after the first woman ran for Vice President (and no it was not Sarah Palin) EDP means Electronic Data Processing. The job entailed determining how our clients were going to post data to the system we used to process mutual funds. Our clients were broker dealers and each had their way of extracting data out of their system for my company to use.

I was also in charge of dealing with the vendor who supplied our system. At the time I thought it would be easy since I was hired from that vendor, but it proved to be more difficult that I had anticipated. It was during that job that I first came upon the original iteration of the comic below.

 RIA, RIA System Conversion, CRM System Conversion, Portfolio Accounting Converstion, Axys Conversion, APX Conversion, QED Conversion

This pretty much sums up what can go wrong on a system conversion or for that matter any customization to a vendor’s software. Remember those empowered employees from Part 2 of this blog? If those folks are not communicating effectively then your company may be paying for something they don’t need or want.

But What is Effective Communication?

The dictionary defines communication as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior; exchange of information. The key phrase in this definition is “common system”.

Both parties need to be able to speak, ask questions, listen and understand. These are the critical components of communication. If the people on the teams are not speaking the same language then problems occur.

  • At least one person on your vendor team needs to understand the language of your industry and company.
  • At least one person on your vendor team or your team needs to be able to translate geek-speak, the language of the programmers actually doing your conversion.
  • But the biggest empowerment that you can give both teams is the responsibility to ask questions when they don’t understand. This is the most critical factor in effective communication.

I am sure that you are thinking “How do I monitor whether the communication between the two project teams is effective?” Good question, I am glad that you asked. There are many approaches to explore:

  • The first is – Meetings.

Get everyone in a room or on a conference call and review where the project stands: who has accomplished what in the deliverables and what are the next steps. This is probably a good way to start any project. You want to know who the players are. You want to monitor and determine which people are the real project leads of each team – who has the knowledge and the power. These are times for meetings and conference calls. It may happen daily at the beginning to ensure everyone is on the same page. But to continue this pace or even on a weekly basis can get expensive and counterproductive. There will be crunch times where it is better for people to be working rather than updating everyone else.

  • The second is – Documentation.

You should demand status updates on a regular basis. This should be agreed upon at the beginning of the project. Everything should be put in writing. If you have a conversation with a vendor over the phone, make sure they follow up in an email outlining the discussion and any decisions that have been made. They should offer this but if they don’t, then your team needs to ask them to do it.

  • The third is – a Combination of Both.

Even if you are having meetings, those discussion points, deliverables and accomplishments need to be documented. On the opposite side of the coin, we have all had those email chains where some people are just not getting it so you need that phone call. I couldn’t agree more, but after the phone call another email needs to happen to ensure that everyone is on the same page – communicating effectively.

Now that you have both teams communicating effectively, it is smooth sailing from here – right? Stay tuned for the answer in Part 4.

Joan Walker is a Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc, a nationally recognized consulting and software development firm that provides software and technical consulting to the financial services industry. Follow on twitter @UNAPEN.

 

Check out these other related blog articles:

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

5 Keys to Success – CRM Implementations for an RIA

 

Subscribe to the UNAPEN blog

 

 

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What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2 http://unapen.com/2705/ria-system-conversion-part-2 Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:00:12 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2705 Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

When we last left off, we had determined that signing a contract is the beginning of the process, not the end.  We also learned our first lesson – your firm needs to have knowledgeable and empowered people as part of the conversion project team, but what does this mean?  Many times a project team ends up looking like this:

Characteristics of a Winning Project Team
Instead, the persons appointed should:

  • Be able stop the process until a question is properly answered
  • Be able get answers within your organization in a timely fashion (within a day)
  • Know which pieces of data are critical and those that are not
  • Keep the rest of the team up-to-date to ensure buy-in to the new system
  • Make sure all the benefits of the new system are highlighted and taken advantage of
  • Understand the pains within the old system, so those pains are not replicated in the new system
  • Understand the benefits of the old system so those benefits are maintained within the new system.

Now Let’s Look at the Vendor’s Team
Now here is the second lesson: The second group of knowledgeable and empowered people must come from the vendor that you have chosen for the new system.  Prior to signing on the dotted line, your firm should get an idea of how your new vendor does business:

  • How many people will be assigned to your conversion?
  • What are their roles?
  • Who is the primary contact?
  • How much experience do they have?

These are all questions to pose during the vetting process.   The system may look great but if your firm doesn’t have a good conversion team, it may never function the way that your firm needs it to.

The “A” Team

Every firm wants the “A” team from their vendor.  Every firm is told they are getting the “A” team from their vendor.  Very rarely does any firm get the “A” team, because these days an “A” team does not exist.  Think about it – does it make sense to confine the top people to one team?  No, you spread the knowledge around.  That allows many teams get a piece of the knowledge and allows all members of all teams to benefit.  This makes good business sense.   So, all of the criteria that you apply to your conversion team you should apply to the members of your vendor’s team, with the following additions:

  • At least one member should know which pieces of data are critical and those that are not and that member should be your firm’s primary contact.
  • At least one member should keep the both teams up to date on the progress of the conversion.  Depending on the phase of the conversion, this should happen at least twice a month.
  • At least one member should make sure all the benefits of the new system are highlighted and explained to your firm’s team.  Then it is up to your team to determine how and when to take advantage of new benefits.
  • All members should understand that they are working with your firm to ensure the best possible outcome.

How Firm and Vendor Teams Should Coordinate
There is a difference between your firm’s conversion team and the vendor’s conversion team.  You MUST be their top priority throughout the project.  That does not mean you will get 100% dedicated people.  During a conversion project, there may be several functions involved from the vendor point of view: Project Management, Business Analysis, Technical Analysis, Data Analysis, Development and Quality Assurance.  Not all of these functions will happen at the same time, so you really don’t want people on the clock who are not working.  However, when the time comes to hand off part of the project from one team member to another, there should be a minimal delay. How will you know if there is a delay?

That question brings us to our third lesson.  It is the universal priority of all relationships – What is it?  Stayed tuned for Part 3!

Check out these other related blog articles:

What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

5 Keys to Success – CRM Implementations for an RIA

 

Subscribe to the UNAPEN blog

 

 

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SEC Offers CyberSecurity Guidance for RIAs & Funds – April 2015 http://unapen.com/2584/sec-cybersecurity-0415 Fri, 08 May 2015 15:49:19 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2584 Mitigating CyberSecurity Risks & Threats

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management released a CyberSecurity Guidance Update for April 2015 for Investment Funds and RIAs to help address and mitigate CyberSecurity risks and threats.

They are clear in stating “…that is it not possible for a fund or adviser to anticipate and prevent every cyber attack. Appropriate planning to address cybersecurity and a rapid response capability may, nevertheless, assist funds and advisers in mitigating the impact of any such attacks and any related effects on fund investors and advisory clients, as well as complying with the federal securities laws.”

 

An Integral Part of that Planning is to:

  1. Periodically assess:
    1. How and where information is stored
    2. Potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities
    3. Current security and processes
    4. Repercussions of a security breach
  2. Create a strategy to prevent, detect and respond to CyberSecurity threats.
  3. Train employees and educate clients about reducing exposure to CyberSecurity threats concerning investment accounts.

The CyberSecurity Guidance goes on to say that “An effective assessment would assist in identifying potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities so as to better prioritize and mitigate risk.
Find out How to Identify Potential CyberSecurity Threats & Vulnerabilities.

Read blog How Can RIA Firms Afford CyberSecurity?

See the SEC CyberSecurity Guidance Update.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc.   (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

Subscribe to the UNAPEN blog

]]> What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion? – Part 1 http://unapen.com/2546/ria-system-conversion-part-1 Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:12:42 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2546 Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

Your wealth management firm has just spent months looking into new systems, narrowing the field of options, negotiating terms and agreements and finally you are at the end of the process. You have chosen a new system! Congratulations, you’re done, you can leave it in the vendor’s hands to bring in the new system and all will be right with the world. WRONG – this is only the beginning, let’s see why.

Viewpoints Vary Drastically

We just went through an exercise where our sales staff documented the product life cycle of a CRM sale, starting at the first touch of an RIA prospect and ending with the new client going live. Their process had ten steps that occurred after the signing of the contract. When our analysts (who work with new clients to get new systems up and running) got hold of list, the number of steps almost tripled with a total of twenty eight steps. Two line items that the sales people listed – data conversion and implementation –were expanded to eighteen in the final version. There are several lessons to be learned here. The first is: System Conversions are not simple linear efforts.

The Definition of Conversion

Conversion – the act or process of changing from one form, state etc. to another.   It also means the act or process of changing from one religion, belief, political party etc. to another. Clearly the first definition applies to system conversions however the second also applies. Not only is your RIA firm moving data from one system to another, your firm is taking a leap of faith that the new system (portfolio accounting, trading, CRM, billing, etc.) will be better, more efficient and more effective at helping you provide the best service for your wealth management clients.

The Inevitable Naysayers

With that leap of faith come the doubters and naysayers. “The old system has worked for us for twenty years – why do we need to change now?” “It takes me three steps where it was only two in the old system.” “The new system is so confusing.” Like democracies, system conversions in wealth management firms are messy. There is old data that has been jerry-rigged to work in the old system. There are “work-arounds” in the old system that maybe one or two people know about or understand. This only feeds into the doubts.

In my experience there are three ways to silence the doubters and naysayers:

  1. Stay with the old system.

That brings to mind some questions:

  • Why are you converting to begin with?
  • Have the pain points and benefits of the current system been acknowledged and documented?
  • Has analysis been done to document the pain points and benefits of the new system?
  • Has this been shared with the entire firm?

If you don’t have a good answer for the first question and/or answered no to any of the questions that followed, then you will not have a smooth conversion and you may want to think about staying with the old system. Probably not the best choice.

If you have a good answer as to why your firm is converting and you answered yes to other questions, then there is a second way to silence the doubters and naysayers.

  1. Make the new system look and feel like the old system.

This happens more than you would think. Firms try to merge the old with the new to get the best of both worlds. It sounds like a great idea – right? Many times the answer is No! This type of replication comes when you don’t have an experienced team within the firm that understands your needs or you don’t have an experience team at the vendor providing the new system.  You can try to replicate old functionality but there is a reason why the new system is designed the way it is. Again, not a good choice.

This means that people and processes will have to change. As I typed the last sentence, I heard crowds of employees start their protest!

The last way and best way to silence the doubters and the naysayers?

  1. Keep them involved throughout the process.

They or their requirements need to be part of the vetting process for, and conversion to, the new system. Many times these employees are an integral part of their department. It is often challenging for them to find extra time to be involved in yet another project. However, it is critical that they participate either directly or through a knowledgeable and empowered representative.

What is a knowledgeable and empowered representative?

Client involved with CRM, portfolio accounting, trading, billing system conversions.

Stayed tuned for the next installment for the answers!

 

 

 

 

Check out these other related blog articles:

5 Keys to Success – CRM Implementations for an RIA

 

Subscribe to the UNAPEN blog

 

 

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How Can RIA Firms Afford CyberSecurity? http://unapen.com/2474/ria-firms-afford-cybersecurity Thu, 02 Apr 2015 20:01:21 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2474

Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Network Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing

Recent high-profile incursions into all types and sizes of corporate networks demonstrate why Penetration Testing can be a valuable tool for protecting private data. Finding the holes and weaknesses in your network protections before the bad guys do can save astronomical amounts of money as well as your firm’s reputation. However, many RIA firms still have trouble justifying the tens of thousands of dollars a comprehensive Penetration Test will cost. This is where Vulnerability Scanning comes into play.

Read More

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Why is a Local IT Provider Perceived as So Important? http://unapen.com/2394/local-it-provider Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:00:00 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2394 Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Technology is Changing the Game

One of the biggest factors is the belief that if there is a problem that can’t be solved remotely, your IT provider can be there to fix it quickly.  However, with the advent of Managed IT Services, including remote access in recent years, this has become much less critical and providers using the proper tools can actually respond faster remotely than they could if required to be on site.

Well-tooled providers can perform the majority of tasks needed to monitor, maintain and even improve your network without ever setting foot on your premises.  In fact, with the assistance of an untrained on-site employee, you may never even meet your IT provider in person.

How are Leading Asset Managers Evolving?

Instead of focusing on geographical location, modern firms are examining a potential provider’s:

  • Reputation within the Financial Services industry,
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, your critical systems (including application software like Trading and Portfolio Accounting systems),
  • Beadth of services offered.

This will result in you beginning a long term partnership with a firm that can meet your IT performance goals and maintain your systems at a high level for the foreseeable future.

“Local” has a New Definition

Now, this is not to say we would recommend hiring an IT provider in another country or even another state.  There are still instances where you will want your provider to complete projects that require an onsite presence and paying for someone to fly a long way doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The bottom line is simply that the definition of “local provider” no longer means someone in the same building or even the same city.

Current Selection Criteria is Slowly Changing

With so many choices for IT providers out there, it is tough to know exactly what the most important factors are in your choice.  The chart below looks across 3,000 firms broken out by number of employees, showing that 31% of small to medium sized businesses feel it is critical to have an IT provider with local personnel.   The medium to large size businesses also seem to place slightly more value on local providers.

Microsoft, UNAPEN, local IT providers, ITComplete
How firms perceive the need for local IT providers

Ken Rode is UNAPEN’s Director of IT.  UNAPEN, Inc. specializes in delivering application software, outsourced IT and disaster recovery services that let wealth managers focus on growing their assets, not their overhead. Folow on twitter @UNAPEN.

 

 

 

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Windows 10 – The Desktop is Back! http://unapen.com/2378/windows-10-the-desktop-is-back Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:00:00 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2378 Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

 

The New Windows 10

Clearly bowing to the almost complete condemnation of Windows 8/8.1 in the enterprise, Microsoft announced on September 30, 2014 the planned release of Windows 10.  This version returns to a more Windows 7 like desktop interface while also retaining the benefits offered in Windows 8/8.1. In April 2015, Microsoft is expected to provide an official release date; the current expectation is sometime late in 2015.

From what I have seen through the Technical Preview, Microsoft continues its trend in recent years of releasing a problematic operating system followed by a strong, reliable one:

  • Windows ME followed by Windows XP
  • Windows Vista followed by Windows 7
  • Windows 8/8.1 followed by Windows 10

The most egregious errors were clearly with Windows Vista and Windows 8.  While Microsoft has not specifically explained why the latest version isn’t named Windows 9, I suspect this has to do with an attempt to clearly delineate it from Windows 8/8.1.…..as they did by changing to a numbered system when replacing Windows Vista.

Microsoft Windows 10 interface
The Windows 10 interface is a return of the Desktop!

 

How It Differs from Windows 8

On August 1, 2013 I wrote a blog post here on Windows 8. At that time, my conclusion was that Windows 8 was not something I could envision our clients using on a business desktop.  I have stood by that statement and only Windows 7 desktops have been installed in our client base (other than home/personal machines).

With the restored desktop and “Start” button in Windows 10, I am very hopeful that we will be able to start rolling out a modern operating system within a year.  I will be running Windows 10 on one of my laptops here at UNAPEN and will provide a more detailed analysis of operability for the enterprise as things develop.

David Gemma is UNAPEN’s CMO and Head of New Business Development and Ken Rode is the Director of IT. 

UNAPEN, Inc. is a nationally recognized consulting and software development firm that provides software and technical consulting to the financial services industry. Visit http://unapen.com or follow on twitter @UNAPEN.  You can email David at: David.gemma@unapen.com or Connect with David on Google+

 

 

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Computer Security Alert: CryptoWall Malware Lurking on Major Websites http://unapen.com/2196/security-alert-cryptowall Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:13:40 +0000 http://unapen.com/?p=2196 NOTICE BY KEN RODE, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Yet another major case of “malvertising” has been reported.  This is nothing new (a famous case occurred on the NY times web site over 5 years ago).  This sort of hacker attack works by going after the companies who serve up advertisements to sites such as newspapers, fantasy sport sites, yahoo, msn, match.com, etc.  If your browser plugins are not up to date, simply opening a page that is showing one of these infected ads can automatically infect your computer.

This latest occurrence was serving up the “CryptoWall” malware.  This little gem encrypts all your documents, pictures, music, etc. and holds it all hostage until you pay the ransom to get the data unencrypted.

To protect yourself from this type of attack, it is critical to ensure you keep all your plugins up to date.  This includes, Flash Player, Java, Adobe Acrobat and any other browser add-ins you may have installed.

Read the PC World article here.

[button link=” http://unapen.com/1581/wire-transfer-warning” newwindow=”yes”] See how hackers are duping Financial Services firms into wiring funds[/button]

 

 

 

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