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11 May 2004

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  • IAN LAUWERYS Consulting Ltd, an independent technology consulting practice, is to make its Time Recording Monitoring Toolkit available to solicitors and other professional service businesses free of charge.

    The toolkit enables firms to analyse and report on time-recording data extracted from a wide variety of legacy financial systems, as well as from paper-based records. Ian Lauwerys, founder of the company, said: “While current practice management systems have sophisticated time-capture and reporting facilities, legacy systems lacking these features are still in use, even among the top-200 firms of solicitors.”

    The toolkit contains a professionally designed spreadsheet that automatically extracts and analyses time-recording data from most systems, producing and distributing a variety of reports. The toolkit is the product of 300 hours of development and testing, and also contains over 100 pages of training materials and manuals.

  • ONESOURCE INFORMATION Services, a provider of business-information solutions, has released an anti-money laundering synergy solution aimed at enabling the legal and financial-services sectors to identify the risk level of a potential client, partner or supplier. The OneSource Synergy Solution for Anti-Money Laundering addresses the recent additions to the Money Laundering Regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act, which demands advisers and financial organisations have sufficient processes in place to identify likely money-laundering activity. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to a fine and/or a prison sentence.
    The system will allow legal firms to perform client checks more rapidly and cost-effectively, by entering a company name or the name of an executive.

  • TIKIT, A legal IT solutions provider, has joined the InPartnership programme of InTechnology Managed Services, as part of a joint strategic alliance. As accredited partners of InTechnology’s InPartnership programme, Tikit will access a range of technical, sales and marketing resources to bring managed services to clients.

  • INTERFACE SOFTWARE is to acquire the assets of Scout Solutions. Founded in 1999, Scout Solutions introduced its Aptus CRM product, which was deployed by a number of large professional services organisations.

    As part of the acquisition, Brett Balmer, president and founder at Scout Solutions, has joined Interface Software as the company’s director of technology. In addition, other members from the sales and support staff will join the Interface Software team. “This acquisition is a win-win situation for Interface Software and Scout Solutions’s customers,” said Balmer. “Our goal has always been to focus on building outstanding products and exceeding the needs of our customers. In my new capacity, I will have greater time and resources to focus on technology innovation, which ultimately will allow us to deliver more value to customers in less time.”

  • NEARLY TWO-THIRDS of large businesses are affected by internet abuse, with major concerns being the excessive number of personal e-mails and employees accessing inappropriate websites.

    The findings comprise part of the 2004 Department of Trade and Industry’s biennial Information Security Breaches Survey, conducted by a consortium led by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Other findings include:
    • Employees have access to the web in 89 per cent of UK businesses, up from 69 per cent in 2002 when the survey was last carried out; the equivalent figures for access to internet e-mail are slightly higher;
    • Overall, nearly two-thirds of larger companies, and one in five of all businesses, reported staff misusing company systems, citing excessive web browsing, e-mail misuse, unauthorised access to systems and legal infringements;
    • Eight per cent of businesses said their worst security incident of the year involved internet misuse and roughly one in five of those had a serious impact;
    • The main impact of the incidents was disruption to the business during investigation, typically lasting up to a week and involving one to three man-days to sort out;
    • While incidents are clearly rising, there has not been a corresponding increase in the levels of control companies apply to prevent such problems. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises that have recently granted their staff with access tend not to have implemented any controls over that access;
    • Whereas two years ago, 57 per cent of companies blocked or quarantined e-mails, this has fallen to just 16 per cent. Indeed, nearly a third of companies now have no controls at all over e-mail, compared to 12 per cent in 2002;
    • Equally, the number of companies that restrict who can access the web has dropped to 29 per cent from 45 per cent; logging and monitoring acceptable sites to 20 per cent from 45 per cent; and blocking access to inappropriate sites to 15 per cent from 34 per cent. Nearly a third of all companies (although just four per cent of large businesses) now have no controls in place at all;
    • Companies logging and monitoring internet access reported a higher number of incidents of misuse, implying that organisations without such controls are letting incidents go undetected;
    • With hindsight, companies that had suffered an incident of misuse rated better staff training followed by improved policies and additional technical defences as the main controls that could have prevented it from happening.

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