AT Newsletter Volume 2, August 2020

All of us at Association Technologies, AT, hope you are all doing well during this pandemic which has changed many of your businesses. Many of you have spoken with us about working from home or moving conferences online. Unfortunately, hackers have also changed their business plans in response to Covid-19. Hackers are attacking remote-working technologies and sending convincing, but fake, emails relating to Covid tests, vaccines, school openings, etc. all in an attempt to steal from you and your company. Sadly, it is working. The FBI reports that cyber-attacks have increased by 400% during the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Many not-for-profit organizations do not realize the potential repercussions of a cyber-attack. They feel that their member data is not confidential, like medical data or trade secrets. However, member data is protected by federal and state law, and must be protected with “reasonable security measures". Even data that can be obtained in a phone book must often be treated and protected as confidential data when it is given to you by a member. Failure to properly protect member data could result in FTC regulatory action. Credit cards are used by all of our customers, and a few stolen credit card numbers can result in investigations costing tens of thousands of dollars. The most valuable data an association holds is usually staff information. Between payroll, taxes, and healthcare, companies store a great deal of valuable information about their own staff.  If stolen, this data can allow identity theft, bank fraud, healthcare billing fraud and other problems for your staff.

The good news is you can help prevent an attack.  Every staff member can play a part in keeping company data secure because according to Kaspersky* and IBM**, staff mistakes are responsible for up to 90% of successful attacks.  These attackers take advantage of confusion, chaos, or excitement to trigger emotions that bypass your normal suspicions to get you to email a password or click on a fraudulent link.  Please use the following tips to help your company keep data secure:
  • Review your online security training plan with AT so your staff are empowered to protect your organization from these types of attacks.
  • Access company data only from company equipment, due to installed security systems
  • Do not let your kids or spouse use your company computer
  • Do not click on links in emails: If you believe you received a legitimate link in an email, browse directly to that website to follow-up
  • Start using a password manager so that no two websites have the same password tied to you.  Hackers use passwords from one hacked site to logon as you on other websites and to work computer systems 
  • If you accidentally click a fraudulent link or think you made a mistake, or see something suspicious; call AT.  The sooner you catch a problem, the more opportunity we have to prevent or limit any damage.
With proper vigilance you can avoid falling victim to a hacker's tricks and we are here to help keep you and your company safe and secure. 
Andy joined AT in January 2001 as the first full-time employee. Andy's primary role is a business analyst, assisting our clients (some for 10 years or more) working through data challenges, website functionality, helping staff and end users find ways to be more efficient, capturing more data and identifying trends. Andy enjoys his job because he is able to listen to clients and then get creative to find solutions and come up with something that’s going to make their lives easier. Problem solving and figuring out solutions makes the job a lot of fun for him and it's rewarding to see a project come to fruition. What he likes most about AT is the fun, friendly staff. It's a tight group that looks out for one another and wants to see each other succeed. We have many laughs when we are together but lately it's been over Teams or Zoom. 

Outside of work, Andy trained with Second City in 2003-2004 but took a hiatus from the stage when his kids (Edie-16 and Avery-13) were young. He became involved in the theater again in 2014 and has been lucky to work with both his son and daughter in recent productions. Recently, Andy starred in Guys and Dolls as Joey Biltmore (garage mechanic) and in the ensemble cast and enjoyed playing ensemble characters in Mama Mia. Early this year, Andy played Wacky, the radio sidekick (who works a ventriloquist dummy) and was part of the ensemble cast in Annie through a community theater. He enjoys theater because it's a good community and he gets to try new things and break out of his comfort zone. He has met a lot of interesting people that he wouldn’t otherwise have had an opportunity to know.    

And now a few questions to get to know a little more about Andy: 
Tell us three things most people don’t know about you:
I have run several marathons, I'm learning to play the banjo and I enjoy cooking, making pizzas from scratch and smoking BBQ (I have three smokers)  

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?
Definitely someone funny, Robin Williams comes to mind because comedy is comforting to me.  His talents to make people laugh, cry or think was something special. 

What is your silver lining to the pandemic? 
My favorite thing has been spending more time with family, watching the kids grow up and helping them navigate the teen years. The pandemic has forced our family to slow down and helped me be more present and deliberate with the time we spend with each other. Though 2020 has been a tough year for many, this time at home has been greatly appreciated.   

Favorite place he has traveled to:  
I’ve been fortunate to travel as a kid with my parents to Maui, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. Each place holds a special place in my heart. Now with my family, we enjoy traveling and seeking new adventures and creating new memories from Newport Beach to Maui to Ireland. In 2018, our family traveled to Ireland (kids were Irish dancers) for 10 days. We explored the country, got to relearn how to drive a manual speed car, met interesting characters in various pubs, hiked many miles exploring the countryside, and let’s not forget about sampling the wonderful beverage options from Guinness to the many distilleries.

Final fun fact:

The only time I’m not playing music while working is if I’m in a meeting. I’m always seeking out new music to stretch my tastes. Lately I’ve been listening to The Current (Minnesota public radio) or WFUV (NYC public radio). 

To learn more about the rest of our team click HERE
Introducing AT Tracker
When the new Marketing Module was added to RiSE several years ago we were all very excited. However, after using it with clients for dues notices, receipts and process automation jobs we realized that it was missing a tracking component.  We’ve developed an integration between the Marketing emails and the mail server (Mailgun for many of you). Our tool links the iMIS communication history with the actual delivery of the message. Similar to other email marketing tools, AT Tracker, lets you know if the email was sent, delivered and more. For more information contact Jim Meyers ( or your application consultant.
AT iMIS Power-User Training Class
Are you looking for some more in depth training? Do you crave more hands-on learning? We are excited to announce our AT iMIS Power-user class. The class will meet for approximately one hour each week for nine weeks beginning on October 15th and will cover all the key modules in iMIS. Registrants will learn how to use the tools built into iMIS and each participant will have access to a test environment to practice and complete homework assignments. The course outline is detailed below but is subject to change to maximize the learning opportunities.

October 15: New members
October 22: Dues Renewals
October 29: Events Management
November 5: Registration
November 12: Product Orders and Commerce
November 19: Website - Public Sites
December 3: Website - Staff Site
December 10: Finance and Administration
December 17: Fundraising (optional)

In order to keep the classes interactive, we are limiting our class to only ten AT clients and the cost is $500 per registrant.  We anticipate the class filling up quickly so reserve your seat by clicking the link below.
Home office, kitchen table, bedroom… August 10-12 -- The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) just concluded their first virtual annual meeting in (insert your location here).
I spent the three days engaging with other members, watching keynote and game changer speakers, sitting in on breakout sessions and attending the expo hall – EXACTLY like I would have had we been in Las Vegas…not exactly.  I missed seeing friends, attending events in person, meeting new people and everything that goes with an on-site meeting.  ASAE did a really good job of pivoting to a complete virtual conference that more than 13,000 people attended!  After originally announcing that the registration fee would be around $600, a follow-up was published and everyone could attend for free!

The three days were jump started with very dynamic keynote speakers and followed by a minimum of 10 breakouts at three time slots.  Game changers, expert led sessions between breakouts provided additional relevant content that we are all looking for in these times.  The up-tempo music playing as you ‘entered’ a keynote or session was a good touch and put attendees in positive moods.

A ‘Chat’ feature accompanied the sessions which allowed for some tremendous stories, examples, and input; however, they flew by so fast it was sometimes difficult to keep up with chat while taking in the speakers or panels.  Making the transcripts available would be a huge take away from this meeting.  I found the chat to be one of the highlights for me.

The expo hall featured more than 50 technology and business services, and hospitality and meeting services providers.  Several comments I heard were, “I was able to browse many exhibits in a shorter amount of time.”

I am very glad I committed the three days to this and I feel ASAE and presenters did a great job, I just really missed hearing, “are we meeting at the lobby bar or somewhere else?”  Hoping to see you all at the next one!