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  Cyber Risk Affects Everyone

Like so many other industries, the collection industry, with its massive amount of commercial and personal data stored in computers and information systems, is a target of hackers from all over the world who are looking for any kind information that will allow them to access credit cards, bank accounts, investments, etc. This leads to annual losses in the tens of billions of dollars.

The threat that your computer system could be hacked is called Cyber Risk and in this world of cloud computing and social media, Cyber Security is now another indispensable part of running your business. Although strengthening your Cyber Security is quite an involved process, if you were to take only three precautions to help safeguard the computers you use in your business, make them the following:
  • Update your software — criminal hackers like to find and exploit bugs and loopholes in popular software products. When Microsoft, Apple or any other software company discovers a vulnerability in its software, it typically releases an update that can be downloaded over the Internet. Update “patches” for the loophole or bug will help to keep hackers at bay.

  • Protect against viruses — viruses, as well as worms and Trojan horses, are malicious programs that run on your computer, delete or change files, and steal your data. The terrible thing is that once a virus enters your computer, a simple email to 50 of your clients can infect them as quickly as you can click "send."

  • Set up firewalls — if you have an always-on broadband connection, chances are that your company’s computer network is randomly probed by criminal hackers. When intruders stumble on a valid computer address, they try to exploit vulnerabilities in the software to gain access to your network — and ultimately individual machines. Like a moat around a castle, a firewall can block intruders from gaining access to your private network.
Like so many other parts of your business, it’s worth spending the money and having an IT specialist with a specialty in Cyber Security do a complete analysis of your network to strengthen it against the risk of hackers, viruses, and others on-line attacks.

Thomas W. Hamilton

 Industry Articles and Information

7 interview questions to help you hire superstars
Never hire someone who is just "good enough."
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Ransomware: When hackers lock your files, to pay or not to pay?
Ransomware is malicious software that restricts access to a computer until a ransom is paid. Ransomware is a growing problem that is now affecting many computer users around the world.
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The National Consumer Law Center wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ban all out-of-statute debt collections
The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) is arguing that the practice of chasing "zombie debts" is unfair, deceptive and abusive. An NCLC report contends that the enforcement of statutory limits should apply to all collection activities.
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Cyber attacks — it happened to Sony and it can happen to you, your customers and your cash flow
Rick McNamar, Business Development Manager via James O'Brien Associates
The entertainment industry mixed with politics, which mixed with financial risk over the recent holiday! This newsworthy “holiday cocktail” developed when Sony Pictures’ computer systems were hacked. A majority of theories presume the hack was due to its production of the movie, The Interview, which is a comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s leader.
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Commercial Law League announces management change
The Commercial Law League of America is pleased to announce that effective immediately, The Sanford Organization will be taking over all management responsibility for the CLLA. TSO has been providing support and services to the CLLA and its staff since 2002. The CLLA Board of Governors has implemented this change effective immediately.
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 Thought of the Day

Bad decisions make good stories

What our clients have to say:
TL&S has been listed with ALQ for 94 consecutive years. The reasons for this long term relationship are many. Tom and Nancy and their staff genuinely care about the success of your firm. For us, they are not only business partners but have become true friends. They know the decision makers for the forwarders and make a point to introduce you to them not only at conferences but throughout the year. They are reachable, responsive and most importantly, follow through. They keep abreast of and continually inform us of changes in the credit and collection industry. They regularly volunteer their time in leadership roles in the many organizations within our industry. They are ahead of all the rest with their informative industry news and timely topics. We could not exist without them.

— Kevin E. Posen, Managing Partner, Teller Levit & Silvertrust PC, Chicago, Illinois

We have been associated with the ALQ for over 27 years. During this time, the ALQ has provided us with professional and courteous support. They have consistently displayed an exceptional attitude and met all our company’s needs. The ALQ’s professional support has been critical to our success. Thank you for your help and service.

— Marilyn Williams, Eastern Commercial Credit Service Inc., Dayton, Ohio

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March 24, 2015
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