Land Records Management
The ability to acquire and own property in the United States is a freedom that we often take for granted. “A man’s home is his castle” rings true as property ownership in the past was only reserved for lords and kings. The protection of that ownership depends upon a reliable system of the accurate recording of all transactions that identify and track all rights of ownership to the property. The official recording of these instruments is typically handled by an elected or appointed official of the county or parish such as the Chancery Clerk in Mississippi.
Historically the recording of this information has been a paper intensive process whereby all the documents are stored in large volumes of books cross referenced by even larger index books that recorded the grantor, grantee, section, township, range etc. of the instrument. Modern digital and scanning technology now allow many counties to store these documents in an electronic format thereby eliminating the bulky volumes of paper documents. These new electronic scanning systems are typically called a “Land Records Management System”, or LRMS.
Data Systems Management has recently completed the development and installation of our LRMS referred to as ProntoRec. We use the term Pronto because our system is FAST, easy to learn, and completely browser based graphical and cloud enabled. We extend the application beyond the capability of most existing systems by providing the ability to not only search by the typically keyed indexes on grantee, grantor, etc; we utilize OCR (Optical Recognition Technology) to allow the search and retrieval of any instrument by simple searching for any word, document, or phrase. Yes, internet search functionality is a standard feature of ProntoRec.
Board Meetings can be a time consuming. From planning the agenda to recording the minutes and finally tucking them away in a safe a secure location. Once a process is in place, it can go untouched for years. Regardless of the number of times you meet annually, we can help you organize your board minutes, even if you need to redact certain information such as social security numbers etc. Our easy on-site paper to electronic conversion gives you a full text searchable digital archive available for private, local, or public access.
Searching your board minutes has never been easier! Just type in any string of text, and see your results in seconds. You can also easily eMail and track documents with this application. Please feel free to contact Data Systems Management for a free on-line demo at your convenience. Contact Annette Walker at 601-573-6130 for your demo today!
DSM has been working to improve your software experience. We have added some new screens, and changed some functionality on our screens to help with your everyday workflow. Efficiency is the name of the game here. Stop by our booth at the upcoming Justice Court Conference to see what we’ve been up to in your office!
Here is a sneak peek at some of the changes headed your way!
Stop by our booth and see Al, Alan, or Tommy regarding the newest version of our software for the Mississippi Justice Court Clerks!
Data Systems Management will be attending the upcoming conference in French Lick, Indiana with the Auditors May 21-24, 2019. Stop by our booth for your complimentary gift, and register for our door prize. While you’re there, take a peek at our Board Minutes Application currently installed in Delaware County!
The beginning of a new year is so exciting! This year is no different. Soon the Mississippi Chancery Clerks will meet. February 5-7 at the Jackson Marriott. Look for our booth and take a minute to chat with Al or Alan.
Recently, you should have received an invite in the mail similar to this one:
As always, we are looking forward to seeing you there!
Mark Your Calendar!
Soon you will see this invite arrive in the mail. We are very excited this year as we have some new applications to show and we also have a new Client Portal to introduce you to. As always, the sessions will be in the morning and we will feed you a good hot meal. We will be available to answer any questions you may have. We always like to sit and visit with our clients and hear your feedback on ways we can improve our software. This year we have two dates, December 5 or December 12, so be sure to send your invite back with the date you will attend. You can email me at email@example.com, or contact me by phone at 601-573-6130. We look forward to seeing each of you there!
Years ago during a military training mission, we had two guys guarding an entry point. Around 4am a man walked toward the post. “Halt! Who goes there?” one of the guards asked. The stranger said, “Dude… it’s me!” The two guards were, like, “sure… come on in.” The perpetrator quickly left instructions with the guards that they were now considered “deceased” and were no longer permitted to participate in the exercise. They got the rest of the night off and we all learned a valuable lesson, i.e., sometimes the bad guys don’t look or act like bad guys!
Social engineering attempts are increasing. By some estimates, over 90% of email attacks are social engineering attacks. Only around 10% are malware attacks. With the improvements to anti-virus software, the attackers have found the perfect weak point – the employee!
So what is social engineering? Social engineering is the art of tricking people into giving up information. No amount of software or hardware will protect your network or data if your employees give an attacker information or access to your equipment or data. Sometimes it’s intentional. There are disgruntled employees out there. Most of the time employees are duped into releasing information or access to a skilled social engineer.
In this series we’ll look at some of the ways social engineers do what they do and, more importantly, how you can avoid falling victim to their evil ways. So… how do theses masters of social engineering do it?
Tools of the Trade
Humans are curious and generally want to be helpful. And these are the two factors that social engineers exploit. In many situations you don’t even see the attacker. Many attacks come in the form of an email.
Phishing – An email containing links to fake websites that tries to get the user to click on the link and log in to their account.
That seems innocent enough, but the link actually goes to the attacker’s website where he will, at that point, have your username and password. They’ll pretend to be banks, credit card companies, social media accounts, etc. The hook is they will tell you that there is some sort of problem and you need to log in to check it out or fix it.
You may have heard in 2016 the DNC was hacked. It all started when a high-ranking DNC staffer responded to a phishing email by typing in his username and password into what he thought was his email account. Instantly the attackers had access to all his emails! And they also had access to his account which allowed them to set all sorts of configurations without his knowledge.
The best way to keep from falling prey to this attack is to simply go directly to your account’s website and don’t use the link provided in the email. Another way to check the legitimacy of the email is to hover your mouse over the link. If it’s an email for your account at yourcitybank.com, then you’ll see firstname.lastname@example.org displayed on the bottom left of your screen when you hover over the link. If it’s a different address, it’s probably a phishing attempt.
Even if it’s the same email address, that still doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legit. Generally speaking, no company is going to send you an email requesting you to log in using the links provided. If you have a legitimate concern about your account, simply call the company or go to their website directly and log in without using the links from the email.
Baiting – Leaving a USB drive in a public location with the expectation that a person will pick it up and stick in into their computer just to see what’s on it. You’ve heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.” That applies here.
Recently, the Pentagon suffered a huge security breach when agents from a hostile country drove through the parking lot tossing out infected USB drives knowing people going to work would pick them up and try to see what was on them.
When they inserted the USB drives into their computer, key loggers were installed that recorded every key stroke the user made and sent that information to the hacker. Key loggers have a way of hiding from detection so users will most likely not even know they’re infected.
But this type of attack can also install ransomware that encrypts your data so that you can’t access it and holds it for ransom… hence the name “ransomware.” It could also install trojans that steal your information like social security and bank account numbers and open back doors into your system for hackers. And once they’re in your system they have access to every system on your network.
How do you avoid this? If you find a USB drive on the ground, open it using someone else’s computer! NOOOO! Just kidding. If you find a USB drive on the ground, then pick it up and hand it over to lost and found, if you have one, or keep it and see if someone lost theirs. Resist the temptation to pop it in.
In my next installment I’ll discuss some of the ways social engineers interact face-to-face with the user to gain access to equipment and data.
Cybersecurity has always been important. Now, it seems, it’s becoming the new buzzword. Everyone is concerned about it. And they should be. Although cypersecurity brings up thoughts of computers, networks, and data, there is another practical aspect that you might not think about. And it starts with a simple lock.
Physical security as part of your complete data protection plan is easily overlooked. But think of it this way… if a person can touch your equipment then that person can change your equipment! He can cut cables, power down, damage, or even steal equipment, whatever he wants to do. Physical security is the first step in your overall cybersecurity plan.
So, how do we keep those scoundrels out? The first step is to consider locking the entrance to your building. Yeah, I know many times that isn’t practical. But if you can practically and legally lock your outside doors, then that’s the first best step in preventing unauthorized access to your equipment.
Motion-activated perimeter lighting will let a potential intruder know that he/she has been spotted. The light, in itself, certainly won’t stop anyone bent on accessing your building, but it will illuminate the area. And the last thing an intruder wants is to be bathed in a sea of bright white light!
Perimeter lighting is a good deterrence. Couple that with a video surveillance system and you have a perimeter defense system that lights up your would be intruder while it makes a lovely HD video of his face that local law enforcement will want to look at.
Now, I know the first inclination is to run out to some big box store and get the latest, greatest, all-in-one, 16-camera video system for $500. Trust me… it’s not going to work. Oh, it will take video and maybe pictures, but you get what you pay for… in both equipment AND installation. Installing a video surveillance system is like sword swallowing… it’s a job best left to the professionals! A video surveillance system isn’t necessarily an inexpensive investment, but having the ability to let the intruders know you see them AND capture evidence for law enforcement justifies the cost of installation.
Like I mentioned earlier, many times it’s just not feasible to lock your outside doors. But inside, well that’s a different story! Inside your facility there really isn’t any excuse to not have an equipment room for… well… your equipment. Routers, phone systems, firewalls, switches, servers, and DVRs all love living in equipment rooms.
Being that your equipment room door will be closed, it’s going to get hot in there real quick with all that equipment running. Check with your favorite HVAC guy to determine the proper cooling unit size you would need for the room. It’s good to have it independent of the building heating/cooling. That 80 degree heating feels good in your office during the winter, but it will make your equipment room temperature soar.
Your equipment room should be centrally located inside the building, if possible. And it goes without saying that it should be locked, so I’m going to say it… you’re equipment room should be locked. Key locks are good, but cypher locks are better. Cypher locks require the entrant to input a combination of numbers or letters to open the door. You have passwords for you computer. Think of this as a password for your equipment room!
You see? Providing physical security for your equipment isn’t that hard, but it’s not necessarily inexpensive. It all comes down to doing everything possible to protect your data and equipment. And beefing up the ability to access to your data and equipment is the first line of defense in securing your network.
By now most everyone is scanning. Nothing new there, but did you know that Data Systems Management offers you a way to scan all your old records and there is no indexing involved!
Index Free Scanning
Data Systems Management offers to you an index free scanning system for your old land deeds. This saves you untold amounts of time on the front end as well as on the back end. You will never have to remember how something was indexed or what file it was saved in while making an effort to retrieve it. Data Systems will even take your previously scanned items and convert those to index free scanned images.
By using the Scanning option with Data Systems Management, your scanned records can be searched just like using the internet. This scanning application is so easy to use you can even utilize interns, or young people looking for part time work to get all of your records scanned.
Data Systems Management is committed to bringing you quality products that improve your daily workflow. Give me a call, I would love to come by and speak with you regarding our latest scanning option! You can reach me at email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you very soon!