Vertican’s newsletter publication covering the Vertiverse of Solutions



December 2021

Past Editions

Isaac’s Essentials

Preparing for If When a Crisis Happens

Forty three percent of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, yet only 14 percent of those businessesa staggering figure, are prepared.

On October 26, Vertican became among the 43 percent; we were also among the 14 percent of businesses prepared. Here are some key things that went on to happen that day:
Shortly after midnight (eastern time), we received a notification by our security monitoring center, Azure, of suspicious network activity.
Immediately following, Vertican’s CIO, IT Manager, IT Administrator, and I conferenced to make some crucial and quick decisions, beginning with proactively shutting down every node of the Vertican network.
We contacted our insurance provider, hired an attorney, Lewis Brisbois, who specializes in cyber security, and enlisted a cybercrime forensics and incident response firm, Arete.


  • Our IT teams began restoration planning.
  • Our business teams remained in communications with our clients.
  • Our development teams began planning how to restore client facing applications for when system access was ready.
  • Our Client Success team assisted our clients despite access limitations.

So, within 12 hours, we were collaborating and engaging the professionals needed to help us navigate through this incident. Within seven days, we contained and eradicated any threats to the environment, and we were able to focus on restoration. Development on the Regulation F software enhancements immediately resumed, providing the Collection-Master, Q-Law, and Q-LawE releases in advance of the November 30 deadline.

So why did so much time pass before clients could begin processing claims through YGC and vExchange?

  • Vertican had to wait for forensics experts to complete the investigation to confirm we had a clean network prior to reopening. Also, cybercrime is a federal offense and working with government agencies to investigate the incident was a grueling, complicated process. We were confined by the boundaries set forth by our attorney, forensic consultants, and the government in the information we could share. Once we received the incident report by Arete, we readily provided access to all vPortal clients.
  • Vertican is an SAAS company that sends millions of pieces of data through our financial system daily. The intricacies involved in ensuring the security and integrity of such data before, during, and after that process is an enormous responsibility. And to safely return such operations to a business-as-usual state, we established controlled phases while collaborating, in part, with our largest Senders on procedures to restore backdated data.
  • Loading and processing backdata, is a time-consuming, complex process when done right. We are grateful for the cooperation of our clients who followed the output file naming convention procedures to prepare for when the YGC and vExchange FTPs were ready to transmit data.

Nevertheless, it’s an understatement to say this was a frustrating time for our valued clients. I know important functions in your businesses were paused and impacted over the course of the incident. On top of the impact to daily business, our clients’ concerns about security were compounded by uncertainty due to the information access constraints.

Retrospectives and Lessons

We made the vital decision, many years ago, to invest in cyber security insurance. Many businesses do not have cyber security specific insurance. We were and still are today, cashflow ready, but insurance is more than just having money available, if needed. It allowed us to quickly and efficiently procure the expert services that we needed to get on this issue.

We also have individual leaders at Vertican that are responsible for components of the business. So, when this crisis hit, I didn’t have to sit down and start orchestrating what was going to happen first, second, and third. We have been building on that level of information management and flow for a while. That’s, not to say it was perfect. But I had quick access to the resources and subject matter experts Vertican needed to navigate this cyberstorm.

So, here’s what we learned that is critical to have in place:

  • A cyber security insurance policy
  • A team of leaders in position to take on challenges
  • A well-vetted compliance policy and procedure to guide the team’s quick response to situations
  • Sufficient cashflow to help weather pitfalls
  • A rolodex of experts to call upon for help

Crisis Management’s (not so) Secret Sauce

I mentioned when crisis hits. In the value of not being first, we were able to learn from countless other companies from various industries. JBS Foods (the world’s largest food processing company), the NBA, and wait for it, the FBI’s email system being compromised, were among the dozens of high-profile cyberattacks in 2021 alone.

I remember when my parents taught me how to drive, they said to expect and prepare for the unexpected. That’s the way I look at the eventual cyber incident – like preparing a young driver to deal with a traffic accident.

This is where we need to be as an industry, we need to talk about it and not play Monday morning quarterback or lament over the unnecessary demise of a business.

Managed detection and response (MDR) services and end-point detection types of technologies should undoubtedly be part of your long-term security strategy. We are now monitored 24/7 by Arete’s, our managed service provider (MSP), security operations center.

I’m a big believer that a failure to plan is a plan for failure. So much so that I display a sign in my office that says Prior Planning Pays. If you live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes, either you move or invest in reinforced windows and stock up on sandbags for the inevitable. I’m not moving or changing my career, so I plan for the hurricane.

I do not expect this to be our last incident – disasters happen in every industry, in every country around the world. You and I are not immune. Let’s have each other’s backs.

I wrote an article in fall 2019Alleviating (some) Chaos in the ARM Industryabout data standards. I wanted to challenge the industry perception that there’s a secret sauce in the form and format of the data we exchange.

If the recent attack on Vertican has taught me anything else, besides protecting client data while navigating a cyber security crisis in real-time, it’s that best practices for cyber safety also do not need a secret sauce. The exchange of security best practices should be shared in a precompetitive arena. This is the stuff that everybody needs to buy into to keep consumer information secure, especially knowing an attack is just a matter a time.

Precompetitive principles are shared in everything that touches our lives. For example, from the best safety practices and equipment standards used in school sports to that of the Olympics – coaches, parents, municipalities, businesses, and manufacturers all do something consistent that is in every athlete’s best interest. So, yes, after the precompetitive stuff, then it’s time for Friday night lights and cutthroat competition.

Another example, Volvo, formed in 1927, focuses on safety as one of its core values. When Volvo engineer, Nils Bohlin, patented his design of the first three-point safety belt in 1959, the company immediately released it into the public domain for the greater good.

What’s Next? Precompetitive Alliances

While no client data was affected during the cyberattack, we all treaded waters of uncertainty as we awaited the forensics report. Vertican is now harnessed and resourced with our best foot forward, so expect many different security enhancements to come down the pike from Vertican.

What I wouldn’t give to have avoided the ordeal brought on by the dark web’s finest scumbags. What I wouldn’t give to save each Vertican client the stress, worry, and raw fear not knowing exactly what was going on during the initial first days. What I wouldn’t give to ensure that each Vertican client, partner, and even counterpart and competitor benefit from our experience.

So, enter 2022 with your helmets and shin guards off, because Vertican is getting precompetitive. We will be partnering with ARM industry leaders to hold a Precompetitive Security Summit to help improve security practices across the collections industry. There’s no secret sauce.

The world is feverishly changing, and it’s not lost on us as a business that compliance did not exist in this industry a mere 10 years ago. I’ve been to hundreds of conferences and had countless conversations where we looked at compliance as more of an annoyance than anything else. And now, with a V8 hand slap to my head, I’ll admit that was like being annoyed at the fact that you must wear a seatbelt – until it’s the seatbelt that saves your life.

Anyone not preparing for a cyber vulnerability incident is running a fool’s errand. From Q2 to Q3 2021, ransomware gained increasing attention, so much so that the U.S. government identified it a national security threat. We are all in the thick of it together. Threat actors are only continuing to exploit the most esoteric vulnerabilities in your system.

The cyber crisis Vertican experienced was handled as well as it was because we’ve been setting ourselves up for the unexpected. This will be true tomorrow, five years from now, and so on. And I recognized there is much more to learn.

I speak with modest pride when I call out the resolve by the Vertican team. I’m equally impressed when I look at the size of the data and our network, no client data was breached, and we were able to propagate the network efficiently.

Summer 2020, I wrote an article called A Little Bit of Luck, where I recapped a conversation by happenstance, which led me to Petra Consulting and ultimately Vertican on a new course of scaling forward.

However, it was anything but luck in Vertican’s ability to manage through a potentially catastrophic crisis. We were systematically prepared thanks to our operational DNA. Our leadership team functioned with unity, taking charge of different aspects of the company. No, I was not prepared for a 2:00 a.m. phone call. But the phases that followed, yes Vertican was prepared because we have been financially, technologically, and operationally investing in ourselves for years.

From an exploitation of a vulnerability in an esoteric part of the way files move through the internet, to a monumental, all hands on deck undertaking, Vertican teams were not only professionally ready, but they were also calm, resolute, and positive through it all.

Vertican has been bringing value and visionary innovation to the industry for the past 40 years. This cyberattack event has been a defining moment and launch pad to become an even better Vertican. Yet, there are a few things that will never change. We are a team of 84 people strong. We support hundreds of businesses, over 10k end users, and millions of consumers throughout the financial industry – from the largest banks and lenders in the world to mom-and-pop shops. We help clients with the ease of automated processes, data integrity, and reduction of costs – and we do so in a way in which we are tremendously proud.

On behalf of the Vertican team, I’d like to also take this opportunity to wish you and your families a joyful, peaceful, and healthy holiday season.

Lessons From an SME

Preparing for an Audit with Your Client

The first part of the article appeared in the October 2021 issue of vConnect.

Collection-Master Claim Information

Word Processing has an amazing amount of information. You can create an “Audit Document” that includes the information your client wants, and you can easily merge the documents on a list of claims. This audit information may be archived to vMedia so that there is a record.

In addition, many Collection-Master features use the “Select Screen.”

Click for larger image.


You can filter to look for special case examples or use my favorite, “List of File Numbers.” With this feature you will create a text file with the 40 or so claims that your client wants, and then run the selected reports.

Paperless File [1-1-Shift F4]
Pull up your list of claims filtered by whatever you prefer and be presented a list of claims with summary information.

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As you pull up the claims you can perform any actions you want, such as:

  • Review / Print Paperless DFile
  • View Media & Export the information
  • Screen Prints
  • Instant Letters
  • F11 – Claim Summary

When you are done working the claim, hit “Escape” and be returned to your list.

Even better, use Page Up/Page Down to browse through your claims.

Report Generator [3-2]
Using the “Select Screen”, pick a list of claims and generate a [3-2] report. This report can include claim summary information.

Paper Ledger Card [2-9]
The Paper Ledger Card [2-9] report has many different variations that show itemized accounting on a claim level. You may report on an individual claim or use the “Select Screen” to report on a group of claims. The HTML versions of the reports are “Excel friendly.”

Print Paperless Notes to File [4-1-5-7]
Use the “Select Screen” to select a list of claims and an individual HTM or web page will be created in your “N: folder.” The files will be named the same as the Forwarder File Number assigned to the claim. HTM documents may be loaded in Excel (Excel may complain about formatting but it’s okay to ignore that.)

Export Running Balances (Forwbal) [2-2-9-8]
This report shows a running balance by forwarder of every transaction. As you can see in the picture below, each transaction is listed, and the balance (by Client) is calculated. In addition, the actual remittance is listed showing (in this case) that the balance returned to $0.00 when remitted. It’s not always that tidy as you might hold payments until they clear, so the remittance can be less than the balance. The program creates a file in your “N:Folder” called FORWBAL.TXT. Load this file in Excel, and filter by the desired Forwarder, bank, or date ranges. In SQL-Sync, the table name is FORWBAL in the Open folder and needs to be added to the schedule if desired.

Click for larger image.


Printing to PDF
Collection-Master supports printing to PDF both natively and using a Windows PDF Print driver. The native PDF only works on 32-bit BRClient, so using the Windows PDF Print driver is preferred.

Printing to “Windows Devices”
In addition to printing to actual printers, Windows supports output to various formats:

Output Notes
WIN:/OneNote You will be prompted to select the Microsoft OneNote Database.
WIN:/PDF You will be prompted to select the PDF document to be created. (32 Bit BR Client Only)
WIN:/READER The printer output will be displayed to your default PDF reader. (32 Bit BR Client Only)
WIN:/OneNote You will be prompted to select the Microsoft OneNote Database.
WIN:/XPS You will be prompted to select the PDF document to be created.
WIN:/vMedia-BW or WIN:/ActMaskR Print to vMedia – note, printing to this port works, but is very slow! It took several minutes for vMedia to respond.
PRN:EXCEL_IT/EXCEL_IT Output to Excel (/w Archive)
WIN:/Default Prints to the default Windows printer. This can be helpful for selecting output devices that are “Difficult to configure in Collection-Master.”
WIN:/Select Prompts the user to select the desired Windows printer. This can be helpful for selecting output devices that are “Difficult to configure in Collection-Master.”


  • Set up Printers in 1-S-5 in Collection-Master
  • When defining a printer, use a “Partial Printer Name.” You cannot include spaces in the name.


If you are using SQL-Sync, create custom queries/reports. This is the DIY developer option, and you can create some very elaborate solutions.


Paperless file notes
This sample is one claim, but you can include any filters that are appropriate.

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Reconciliation Balances
While you may be storing historical copies of reconciliation balances, the data is available in the “RECONCIL” table.


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The complete article can be read here.

Contributed by Luis Gomez, Chief Strategy Officer


The Mastermind Series, an ongoing program of virtual training sessions presented by Vertican’s top developers and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), has been well underway! Are you missing out?

Topics are developed to help improve clients’ ability to use our platform features and tools effectively and maximize efficiency.

Have you seen our five most popular Masterminds of 2021?

5 – Managing Court Hearings in Q-Law & Q-LawE
4 – AutoPost in Collection-Master
3 – Handling Regulation F Functionalities in Collection-Master
2 – Handling Regulation F Functionalities in Q-Law and Q-LawE
1 – 🌟 vExchange Dashboard 101 🌟

Find these and more at the Vertican Mastermind page!

Mastermind attendance is free but advanced registration is required. The calendar is continuously updated and future sessions we are considering include YGC-2-vExchange Step by Step Guidance, Collection-Master-2-Q-LawE Transition Roadmap, and the debut of Vertican Support Access (VSA). Do you have a topic in mind for a future training session? We want to hear about it. Please send us an email with your suggestion.

Take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to learn directly from industry trailblazers and Vertican’s visionary developers.

Missed a previous Mastermind Session? We’ve got you covered. You can view any of our past session presentations here.

Isaac Goldman, CEO, Nicholas Arcaro, SVP of Sales, and Julia O’Day, Account Manager, are heading to Las Vegas to attend the RMAi 25th Annual Conference.

Cabana Crawl plans are in the works! So be on the lookout for information and how to schedule a private meeting.

RMAi 25th Annual Conference, February 7 -10, 2022 | Las Vegas NV

VT Spotlight

Welcome to the section of the Newsletter where we share an inside look at some of Vertican’s amazing team members. This issue of vConnect focuses the spotlight on Jena Tanenbaum and Ben Cavallaro.

Jena’s key role is as an Implementation Specialist. We spoke with her about her love of music, the instruments she plays, and cheesecake.

What is your title and when did you begin working at Vertican? I’m an Implementation Specialist. I started working for the company in March of 2020.

What sort of work did you do before joining Vertican? I’ve worked mostly in customer service. I started and stayed with the same retail company for about a decade (everyone’s favorite home goods store with the big blue coupons). I started working as a regular sales employee and worked my way into the role of Customer Service Manager, which I did for about four years. I also worked in the buying office for a small department store chain.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you? One thing I love about my position with the company is that there really isn’t such a thing as a “typical” day. There are tasks that I do constantly throughout the week, but the majority of my days are very different. I do love that my position is very client-facing, and I get to meet and work with people from all over the country.

What do you like most about working for Vertican? The people! Vertican has a true talent for finding fun, helpful, hardworking people, and this makes it a great place to work.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be? The theremin! I love the idea of an instrument you play without actually touching it. It’s all electronic too, so there are so many interesting ways to manipulate the sound. It’s such a unique instrument and is not one you see played often.

What was your very first job and how old were you? Growing up I had a pretty stable babysitting business to get me by through grade school but working for the aforementioned home goods store was the first job I ever applied for. I started there after graduating high school as a job to get me through college, but it became something I really enjoyed and stayed with after graduation.

Word on the street is you make a mean cheesecake. Tell us about it and how that began. I started baking at a really young age, but when I was about 13 years old, I decided to be a big girl and try a dessert that had always grossed me out: cheesecake. I have a huge sweet tooth, but this birthed a new love for baked goods and an overwhelming obsession with cheesecake. I’ve got recipes for every mood you could be in and every holiday you can think of, but my current favorite is tiramisu cheesecake.

What (else) do you like to do outside of work? I absolutely love music, so I feel like a lot of my free time revolves around that in some way. I play a couple instruments, I’m learning two other instruments currently, and I love going to concerts and seeing my friends play live. I have a small group of friends that are very into the craft beer scene, so I’m always (happily) brought along to new breweries. When I’m at home, however, my favorite thing is to relax on the couch and bury my nose in a book.

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months. I started taking bass lessons! I started learning the drums about a year and a half ago and decided to give another instrument a try as well! A few friends of mine own and operate The Original Music School in Morristown, NJ, so I get to spend time with them, learn something new, and support a small business all at the same time!

Do you have a favorite movie, artist and/or book?

Movie: La Vita e BellaIn Bruges

TV: Doctor WhoLetterkennySchitt’s CreekCriminal MindsThe Blacklist

Musical or Other Artists: The Clash, Baroness, Nothing but Thieves, GoGo Penguin

Book or Author: Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King, Erik Larson, Agatha Christie

Please share a favorite quote.  “If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Ben’s latest role with Vertican is Product Owner for vMedia. He spoke with us about his musical instruments and a previous “spotlight” appearance on VH1.

What is your title and when did you begin working at Vertican? I’m the new Product Owner for vMedia. I began working at Vertican in late 2013 as a part-time employee and I became a full-time employee in August 2015. I’ve worked as a development engineer, a development lead, and a product owner.

What sort of work did you do before joining Vertican? I practiced collections law for seven years prior to joining Vertican. I am a licensed attorney in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you? A typical day includes communicating with the team members for vMedia, working with accounting on billing, and coding in C#, SQL, and Visual FoxPro.

What do you like most about working for Vertican? I enjoy the work that I do, the familial nature of the company, and the flexibility of remote work.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be? I’d love to learn how to speak a foreign language, but I am terrible at learning them! Luckily, I am much better at learning new programming languages!

What was your very first job and how old were you? I created websites for various individuals and companies from around the time I was 14-15 years old. I also did computer repair around the same time.

Word on the street is you were on VH1 and played at The Stone Pony. Tell us about it and how that began. I was in a band in high school. I played bass guitar. We played several shows at large venues in New Jersey, including The Stone Pony. We were also featured on a VH1 TV show called Rock of Ages.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues? I own three drum sets, two bass guitars, two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, and a ukulele.

What (else) do you like to do outside of work? My son is two and a half years old, so I spend most of my free time with him. He’s an amazing kid.

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months. I visited Yellowstone National Park with my wife. We saw bison, deer, bears, hot springs, and lots of other beautiful sights, including the most amazing view of the night sky I’ve ever seen.

Do you have a favorite movie, artist and/or book?

Movie: IdiocracyZoolander

TV: Future ManBarry

Musical or Other Artists: Plini, Soilwork

Book or Author: Ray Kurzweil

Please share a favorite quote.  “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” – Edgar Allan Poe

 Software Tip

Collection-Master Keyboard Functions

Using the Keyboard

Collection-Master is based on full screen processing. This means users can display data to, or input data from, the whole screen.

Collection-Master is also (generally) case-sensitive. If the wrong case is used, the program sometimes converts to uppercase.

The program has a type-ahead feature. This means users can type an entry before the prompt is displayed on the screen. The Main Menu clears the keyboard buffer, so wait for it to display before typing.

Navigation can be accomplished with the keyboard:

Click on image to view larger version.


In combo the boxes, you can type in the value that you are looking for and it will auto-fill with the next closest entry as you type.

There are also several keyboard shortcuts in Collection-Master that utilize the Control key [Ctrl]:

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The Function keys have a variety of uses in Collection-Master:

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In other modes:

Function keys that are not on the keyboard: F16 refers to a function key that does not exist on most standard 101 key PC keyboards. Pressing the [Shift] key + the [F6] key is the same as pressing an [F16] key. The same holds true for any of the function keys in the teens.

For example: [Shift] key + [F3] = [F13] key or [Shift] key + [F9] = [F19] key

Menu             Use function keys to select entry
Programs      Follow instructions for special uses

 Software Tip

Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Q-Law and Q-LawE

Keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) allow you to navigate through the software faster. Rather than having to point and click, knowing the hotkey will allow you to quickly navigate the software and save time.

The text on most buttons in Q-Law and Q-LawE have one underlined letter (see the Exit button in the screenshot). Pressing the Alt key and that underlined letter will select that item. In this example, pressing Alt + E will “Exit” the software. Another example would be pressing Alt + S to save your work.

Hotkeys can also be used to switch tabs, Main-1, Contacts-2, Paycard-3, Documents-4, Client-5, Legal #2-6, etc., at the screen’s top. Pressing Alt + the number listed on that tab will open that tab for you. In the example, pressing ALT + 6 switches you from the Main tab to the Legal#2 tab.

Once you get accustomed to them, hotkeys will provide an easier and quicker method of navigating and executing commands in Q-Law and Q-LawE.

Click on image to view larger version.


 Software Tip

Windows Drag & Drop from the Search Results Grid

vMedia now supports Windows Drag & Drop from the Search Results Grid in the Viewing Module. You can drag and drop either a single untagged media object, or multiple tagged media objects of any type and construction, into various targets. It also supports Dragging & Dropping from Office 32-bit versions of MS Outlook. See vMedia Help on the vPortal for complete details!

Click on image to view larger version.


NOTE: Any 32-bit version of Office (which includes Outlook) is a recommended product and integrates well with Vertican software, including vMedia. Vertican applications do not integrate with any Office 64-bit product.


October 2021 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the October quiz!

Alli Connell – Niederman, Stanzel & Lindsey, PLLC

Bethany Dour – Lloyd & McDaniel

Christine Landry – Niederman, Stanzel & Lindsey, PLLC

Eeva Wendorf – Gurstel Law Firm, P.C.

Freddie Hancock – Evans & Green, LLP

Geri McCabe – Johnson Mark, LLC

Jennifer Samf – Holzman Law, PLLC

Meagan Hayden – Selip & Stylianou, LLP

Ryan Bundy – Carlile Patchen & Murphy, LLP

Tracy Weichselfelder – Snow & Sauerteig, LLP

The answers to the October quiz:

1. Oktoberfest was held in which city for the first time?

Munich, Germany

2. Which famous magician died on Halloween, 1926?

Harry Houdini

3. Which classic horror film features a serial killer in a William Shatner mask?

Halloween or Devil’s Rain (both accepted)

4. What is the name of the motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological horror film Psycho?

The Bates Motel

5. What actress played Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who seeks the advice of an imprisoned cannibal serial killer, in The Silence of the Lambs?

Jodie Foster

The winners had the choice of one of these three prizes:

December 2021 Contest

Can you answer this month’s quiz?

We’re focusing vTrivia this month on the December Holidays. Below are four questions you’ll need to answer correctly to be one of the three winners chosen at random from everyone answering all four questions correctly. Each winner will have their choice of one of three prizes.

  1. What is the Times Square New Year’s Ball made of?
  2. The menorah that is situated in Grand Army Plaza in New York stands how
  3. In what year did Hershey start wrapping their Kisses in red, green, and silver foil for the holidays?
  4. About how many bulbs are strung on the Rockefeller Center tree?

This contest has closed. Check for the latest version of vConnect for a new quiz.

This month's prizes

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 12 Oz. Brew Sizes, Matte Black

Ninja Personal Blender

For Shakes, Smoothies, Food Prep, and Frozen Blending with 700-Watt Base and (2) 16-Ounce Cups with Spout Lids

Ultrean 5.8 Quart Air Fryer

Electric Hot Air Fryer Oilless Cooker with 10 Presets, Digital LCD Touch Screen, Nonstick Basket, 1700W, UL Listed (Black)