Table of Contents


The Threat is Real: Protecting our Data 

UCS: Small Business Big on Service

The Legend of Jack O' Lantern



 
 
 
Kim,  
You have been great to work with on this unfortunate issue. 
Thank you so much for your kindness.  Please apply this check to reference# XX-XXXXXXXXX.
      Thanks so much,
               a consumer

"I've worked with United Credit Service for over 25 years and I've found their staff to be very professional and knowledgeable. UCS has provided our patients and our staff with outstanding customer service while also providing excellent collection results." 

Director of Patient Financial Services, Large Midwestern Hospital
 
 
 
 


Hello Friends!


Small businesses are often thought of as the underdogs when compared to their large counterparts. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

According to a 2019 US Small Business Administration report, we make up a lion’s share of all US businesses—99.9 percent. Not to mention, we are responsible for 2 out of every 3 new jobs created here in the United States.

This doesn’t sound like an underdog to me.


According to ACA International (the leading national association for credit and collections professionals) 94 percent of its members have less than 100 employees and less than 1 percent have more than 500. Small businesses like ours are not only the lifeblood of the US economy we are essential within our own industry as well.


Sure, I get it. Bigger companies oftentimes have more resources to invest in technologies and may offer clients cheaper solutions.


At UCS, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer clients the best of both worlds: We understand the importance of keeping up with technology which is why we provide our clients (and team members) with the latest and greatest. It’s so important to us we include Innovation as one of our guiding principles included in our Mission Statement.

We are also a (small) business that cares a lot about relationships and make it a priority to really connect with our clients. Our dedication (and size) leads to better customer knowledge along with the ability—and agility— to provide excellent, more personalized solutions and customer service.


As small business owners Jim and I care about more than our bottom line. We are heavily invested in the happiness and success of our team members as well as the communities we serve. This is why we work diligently promoting a positive company culture that emphasizes integrity, teamwork, work/life balance and community service.


To us, value isn’t based on price alone. It must include things like trust, customer service, flexibility, and netback.


If you are a client, thank you for the privilege of serving you. We appreciate your business! If you are a prospective client, we’d love the opportunity to make your life easier while improving your bottom line.


Best regards,

 
 
 
 


The world in which we live today has introduced us to some new and unimagined challenges. Amongst those is the increase in cyber security threats.


Several surveys, taken in May, indicated that 43% of the US workforce was working remotely compared to 16% the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported back in October 2019. This incredible increase has opened the door to cyber threats as businesses struggle to adopt remote working technologies and policies.


Fortunately, here at UCS, we already had the technologies and policies in place for remote working and were able to implement an increase in telecommuting overnight.

Data and system security have been, and continue to be, a priority at UCS. We have partnered with a third-party expert to manage this critical element of our business. The depth of knowledge and experience they bring to us 24/7 would be cost-prohibitive if we attempted to handle this ourselves inhouse.


I asked our contact to put together a short overview of the security utilized by UCS. Here’s what he had to say about the lengths we go to secure data:


'United Credit Service incorporates what we refer to as the “security layering technique”; no single piece of technology alone mitigates any risk associated with use of corporate data but instead together each piece overlaps and encapsulates the other to prevent unauthorized access to corporate systems and data. Like tumblers on a lock the only method to access data is to use the correct keys.


The following are additions added to the UCS network and are a part of today’s business standards to protect corporate networks from breaches and data leaks.


FIREWALLS


At the border of any protected network there is an appliance and/or software package inspecting all incoming and outgoing packets. Through use of rules you allow only the traffic that is necessary to send and receive data for authorized business use. However, firewalls now encompass more than just packet inspection and rules; and the following are items that any modern firewall should include.

  • GeoIP Blocking – the use of rules to limit the traffic coming and going to entire countries as most malicious activity takes place in countries that do not have any need to access your systems
  • Intrusion Prevention and Detection – inspection of packets to discover any malicious activity that may be embedded in standard traffic processes and log and/or block based on patterns
  • Outbound Rules – while inbound traffic rules are common the use of outbound rules to limit traffic such as SMTP to come from only authorized internal systems allows prevention of malware and viruses


ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGIES


The concept of anytime and anywhere access for our employees is key to productivity along with the necessity to transfer data to and from authorized companies to allow for the sharing of data and information. However simple public access rules and “emailing files” has created security risk to any company. Incorporation of simple technologies can mitigate most risks by encrypting your data.

  • VPN Clients – instead of public RDP servers encourage the use of employee VPN software to force data traffic into your protected network from non-business owned systems
  • IPSEC Tunnels – when you must actively trade data to and from other business discuss the use of tunnels that create active bridges between you and them using the public Internet while encrypting and hiding the data from unauthorized snooping
  • Encrypted Email – sometimes you must send sensitive records via email such as phone numbers, SSN and credit card data. Vendors offer encryption technology that prevent the email from actually sending to a user and instead forces them to come into your system and disallows printing and downloading and even forwarding


NETWORK HARDENING


Flat networks are a thing of the past. With voice, security camera, storage and virtualization data all intermixed in the data network you risk exposure to sensitive data with a breach in any one of those sub networks.

  • VLANs – virtual local area networks allow you to subnet and route internal traffic so that while the physical network and switching remains the same the underlying technologies’ traffic is NOT intermixing together
  • Guest Wifi and Hidden SSIDs – if employees can join their personal devices to the same data network as the corporate systems then you risk exposure from unknown devices and even further ones that do not have the same strict protection on them as business systems; as well if your wireless networks SSID broadcasts and can be found you risk “wardrivers” that can attempt to crack into your network without physically being in your building
  • Traffic and System Monitoring – when you are not monitoring what your network and systems look like during normal processing how can you spot abnormal traffic patterns that could be malicious? Use software that monitors not only the installed programs, services, and processes running on all systems but also the bandwidth consumed from each system to more easily spot intruders


END USER PROTECTION


Every end user system is potentially vulnerable to system attacks from viruses and malware, and end users themselves are possibly the riskiest “system” you have. However, we actively incorporate technologies and training together to protect data.

  • System Patching – weekly and/or at most monthly system patching must occur as most malware and viruses take advantage of vulnerabilities that have been patched by vendors that business simply have not installed
  • Antivirus/Antimalware – though only 40-60% effective some protection is better than nothing, and most software in this category includes methods to block things like USB flash drives, unauthorized copying of data and prevention of certain file extensions from running
  • Policies and Procedures – whether they be system policies like password complexity and how often you change passwords to business procedures like acceptable use policies any business should follow industry standards set by the SANS Institute including their free to use policies and best practices guidelines
  • End User Training – if your employees are never told how to spot phishing attacks, proper ways to give out information over the phone, spotting unauthorized building access, or many of the other items that have no real technology protection you continue to expose the greatest risk to any business; the employee themselves'


There may be portions of what's written above that many of us without IT backgrounds cannot fully understand, but hopefully everyone can appreciate how seriously we take data security--yours and ours--alike.

Working with our third-party vendor we will continue to implement changes as necessary and as technologies evolve.  Cyber security requires that we never simply rest and assume we have the latest and greatest because, as we all are very aware, things can change in a heartbeat. 


 
 
 
 
 
 

No two debtors are alike. That’s why here at UCS we offer a myriad of payment options. To us, options are synonymous with opportunities. The more options we can offer patients (consumers) the more opportunities we create to get the debt paid. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to pay.


No two clients are alike either. That’s why we like to offer our clients a myriad of options when it comes to communicating and working with us. The more options we can offer our clients, the more opportunities we have to make them happy. We want to make working with us as easy as possible for them too!


UCS's Client Access is a secure website we created for our clients to augment our Client Services Department. It provides clients with convenient, secure access to their accounts whenever they want—24/7. It is also a secure place where we can share and exchange sensitive information with each other.


Any information transmitted to the site is encrypted using a 256-bit Secure Socket Layer for the highest level of data protection possible.


Navigating the site is extremely intuitive, but we also have a step by step Client Guide with written instructions for those who prefer to learn that way. There is also a Help Menu within the site that is there to assist with quick questions that might arise.


To give clients even more options and convenience, we’ve made the Home Screen customizable. That way users have the ability to select which available favorite features show up on their dashboard.


Client Access is updated daily to allow clients the ability to see current information on any of their individual debtor accounts. Users are also able to edit accounts to provide us with revised information regarding demographics or employment. They can also report a payment or add a comment to any of their accounts as well.


Client Access is also a great place to view reports or email Client Services. Users are also able to securely upload new placements or other pertinent documentation to this site.


For those who love technology or want easy access to their accounts and reports whenever they want, our Client Access portal has been a godsend. But it is only one of many options clients have when working with us. Our Client Services team is here at the ready to help when needed. We are also just a phone call or an email away.


To reach the UCS Client Access portal go to:  https://www.clientaccessweb.com/UCS/   or click on the Client Access link on our website: unitedcreditservice.com  


If you do not know your login credentials for our Client Access portal, please email us at: support@unitedcreditservice.com.

 
 
 
 
 

As Irish legend tells it, there once was a drunkard called Stingy Jack who was not only known to be miserly, but also a fairly skilled con artist and manipulator.


One day as Stingy Jack walked through the countryside, he came across a malevolent looking man who turned out to be the devil. Typical of Jack, he convinced the devil to join him at a local pub for a few drinks. Not wanting to pay for the beverages, Stingy Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin. But also typical of Stingy Jack, he pocketed the coin instead of paying for the drinks with it.


Fortunately for Stingy Jack, he also had a silver cross in his pocket which kept the Devil from transporting himself back into his original form.


Stingy Jack then struck a deal with the Devil. He would agree to let the Devil go if the Devil promised he would not claim Stingy Jack’s soul when he died.


When Jack died, God wouldn’t let him into heaven and the Devil kept his word and didn’t allow him to go into hell either.


Stingy Jack was sent into the night with only a burning coal to light his way. He placed the burning coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming earth ever since.


Over the years people made Jack’s lanterns out of beets and potatoes as well. When the legend made its way to America people began to use pumpkins for lanterns instead.


Happy Halloween!

 
 
 
 
United Credit Service, Inc.
www.unitedcreditservice.com
15 N. Lincoln Street, P.O. Box 740
Elkhorn, WI 53121
 
 
Footer-logo