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The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 2: Editor’s Picks 732 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 2: Editor’s Picks

Welcome to part two of DataMotion’s 2021 Year-end Hot List! In part one, we reflected on various collections that were published to the DataMotion Blog, including the Danger for Data series and a look at the rise of Ransomware as a Service. In this installment, we’re sharing a list of notable entries from 2021 including things to consider before developing software in-house, a checklist for vetting API companies, and takeaways from industry events.

Let’s dive in.

What You May Have Missed in 2021

Choosing an API Company: 14 Points for Due Diligence When considering an API company, you’ll want to do your diligence. In this post, DataMotion Vice President of Products and Services Alex Mushkin shares a checklist to use as part of the vetting process, covering factors such as security, benefits offered, and technical depth.

DataMotion: A Zero Trust Model You Can Trust “Trust but verify relies on a strong defense, vetting then trusting people and systems. Zero trust is an internal strategy, focusing on hypervigilance around not only system security compliance, but access. Here at DataMotion, we abide by both.” DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek speaks to the zero-trust security model, how it keeps DataMotion’s customers safe, and its benefits to your organization.

5 Things to Consider Before Developing Software In-house Whether or not to develop in-house solutions is a question that almost every enterprise asks at some point. The do-it-yourself approach can offer tremendous benefits, but there is often tremendous costs and additional, unplanned work involved. DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post examines this question and offers a list of points to consider before starting an in-house project.

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center “While the secure message center can include email communications, it is really a solution to keep all of your communication tools, including email, customer apps and portals, in one place for simple, secure and compliant communications.” If modernizing customer experience and internal workflows are part of your 2022 resolutions, you are in luck! Christian Grunkemeyer, DataMotion’s Director of Sales Success talks about our secure message center, some general use cases, its impact on the customer experience and internal workflows, and how this solution can benefit organizations across industries.

2021 In Events

Team DataMotion attended several industry events this year, both virtually and in person. Below are the post-event blog entries from healthcare and insurtech events, where Christian Grunkemeyer and DataMotion Business Development Director, Healthcare, Doug Rubino shared industry trends, hot topics, and general event takeaways.

Directly Speaking: The 2021 DirectTrust™ Summit “We want a patient, no matter where they are receiving care, to have that doctor immediately be able to pull their medical records from another care provider or organization with the same ease that the patient withdrew money from another bank’s ATM that morning for their coffee shop run.” We sat down with Doug Rubino to discuss takeaways from June’s DirectTrust™ Summit, including challenges faced with healthcare directories and what’s next for the industry.

HIMSS 2021 Takeaways: Healthcare, Cybersecurity and Interoperability “Many organizations have a marked lack of internal expertise and knowledge of internal network schematics and topology. This…boils down to a general failure to understand where system vulnerabilities exist, which ultimately leads to the inability to anticipate and identify cybersecurity threats, and to prevent an attack.” Once again, Doug Rubino shared his insights and takeaways from HIMSS 2021. Event discussions included challenges and innovations around cybersecurity in healthcare.

Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021 “To sum up, organizations in the space are looking for AI-driven technologies, multiple integration options, and technological methods to automate internal processes and better detect, and prevent, fraud.” In this interview, Christian Grunkemeyer shared hot topics and takeaways from ITC 2021, including improving the insurance policyholder digital experience and the current state of technology at insurance companies.

On behalf of everyone at Team DataMotion, we’d like to thank you for a wonderful 2021, and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022! We’re looking forward to another great year in the DataMotion Blog and we hope you can join us. If you have some downtime during the holiday break, please take a minute to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Finally, stay in the know in 2022 and subscribe to the DataMotion newsletter, which delivers industry insights and thought leadership to your inbox once a month.

Thanks again for a great year—we’ll see you in 2022!

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The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 1: A Year of Collections 736 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 1: A Year of Collections

Welcome to the first installment of the DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List! As we close out 2021 and gear up for 2022, we’re revisiting the year in the DataMotion Blog. In this blog post, we are showcasing the different series that we’ve published to the blog this year. This includes a look at where data security vulnerabilities may lie within your organization on both the IT and business sides, the rise of Ransomware as a Service, and some tips and tricks for using Postman.

Let’s set the rearview mirror and start our look back at 2021 in the DataMotion Blog.

Series You May Have Missed

The Danger for Data Series

“While not every breach will make front page headlines or the 24-hour cable news cycle, organizations should expect a breach at some point and plan a defensive strategy. As I mentioned in the previous installment of this series, it is not a question of if a breach will occur, but rather, where and when.” DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek offers insights into where vulnerabilities may lie on both the IT and business sides of an organization, and how you can protect your enterprise’s data.

Part One: 5 Back-end Breach Factors

Part Two: Seven Pain Points in Your Processes

Part Three: Remedies for Risk

The Rise of Ransomware as a Service

You’ve heard of Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. But Ransomware as a Service? You read this correctly. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a dangerous cottage industry that has upped the ante when it comes to keeping your data secure. DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post explored this dark side to innovation in a three-part series, where she outlined the basics of this disastrous digital disruption, how your vendor could unintentionally put your organization’s data at risk, and how you can protect your enterprise. Read on:

The Rise of Ransomware as a Service

The Rise of RaaS: Consolidating the Vendor Risk Factor

The Rise of RaaS: The Real Cost of a Ransomware Attack

We’re Partial to Postman

This fall, we shared a social-media-based series of tips and tricks for using one of our favorite tools, Postman. Heather Post has curated these tips into two posts to the DataMotion Blog:

4 Tips for Becoming a Postman Guru

4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Guru

As part of this series, Heather also sat down with DataMotion Security Specialist Kevin Miller, who is an enthusiastic and expert user of Postman. In this interview, Kevin shared a little bit about his role, how he has utilized Postman as part of his job, and his tips for fellow developers on how to successfully leverage Postman for testing APIs.

Don’t Miss Out

In our next entry to the DataMotion Blog, we’ll continue our look back at 2021. We will be revisiting the zero-trust model, questions you should ask when vetting an API company, and takeaways from both virtual and live events.

In the meantime, stay up-to-date with industry insights and thought leadership, DataMotion updates and more by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We also invite you to subscribe to the DataMotion newsletter to have all of the above delivered to your inbox once per month.

See you next week!

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The DataMotion November Hot List 736 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion November Hot List

Greetings, readers, and happy December! We hope that you have had a great start to the holiday season. In this month’s DataMotion Hot List, we’re going to cover posts to the DataMotion Blog during the month of November, which included an interview with a DataMotion Postman expert, and tips for using GitHub. We also shared an up-close-and-personal look at DataMotion’s secure message center—how it works, and how you can benefit from this solution.

And now, without further ado, we present the DataMotion November Hot List.

What You Should Have Been Reading

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center “Unlike regular email, the sensitive data you are exchanging with your client is kept fully secure during transit, and the messages are stored just as securely…Also unlike regular email, this process integrates with your methods of customer communication, such as web and mobile applications and customer portals, delivering messages and documents just as quickly and securely.” The ability to securely send and store messages as part of an existing customer-facing workflow not only helps provide an outstanding customer experience, but can also help keep your organization within regulatory compliance. In this entry to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion Director of Sales Success Christian Grunkemeyer shares a look at our secure message center, and how it can benefit your enterprise.

Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru “The first tip I would recommend is utilizing variables. If you have to utilize the same information in multiple API calls, you can replace this information with a variable and define the value of that variable for an entire collection of calls.” As part of our Postman tips and tricks series, DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post interviewed Kevin Miller, DataMotion Security Specialist and resident Postman guru. In this interview, Kevin shared how he uses Postman, why it is helpful, and his tips on making the most of this tool.

Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer “Have you ever been asked to share your GitHub profile at a job interview, or when meeting other developers at a conference? With GitHub’s growing popularity, it’s now just as common for employers to request a GitHub profile as they would a LinkedIn profile. However, as great as the code hosting tool is for showboating talents, it does so much more.” In this entry to the DataMotion Blog, Heather Post provides a roundup of the first half of our GitHub tips and tricks series.

The October Hot List In case you missed it in October, we published a cybersecurity toolkit, takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2021, and part two of our Postman tips and tricks series.

News and Opinions from ‘Round the Web

As part of the monthly Hot List, we’re including a few cybersecurity-related news articles and opinions from around the web, including a look at new rules for rail transit, a cybersecurity incident notification law in Wisconsin, and an opinion piece on why cybersecurity pros need a seat at the table.

From CBS News: U.S. Imposes First Cybersecurity Rules for Rail Transit, Despite Industry Pushback

From Public: Wisconsin Enacts Insurance Data Security Law Requiring Notification of Cybersecurity Incidents to Insurance Commissioner Within Three Business Days

From Infosecurity Magazine: Cybersecurity Pros Need a Seat at the Table

Get Social with Us

Have YOU followed us social media? You’ll find our tips and tricks series, job openings, links to valuable content such as blog posts and whitepapers, as well as company and industry news and updates, and much more. Follow us today on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Speaking of keeping up with updates and insights, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter, which delivers industry trends, insights and thought leadership to your inbox once a month.

Finally, with the holidays upon us, the DataMotion Blog will have a hiatus the last week of December and the first week of January.  As we close out 2021 and gear up for 2022, we’ll revisit some of the hottest topics from the year, and we invite you to join us as we look back on this year’s thought leadership. We also invite you to learn more about DataMotion’s secure exchange solutions by visiting our website or contacting our team of experts.

We look forward to seeing you in December!

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Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer 736 312 Heather Post

Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer

Have you ever been asked to share your GitHub profile at a job interview, or when meeting other developers at a conference? Doing so is an easy way to share your work and experience with others. With GitHub’s growing popularity, it’s now just as common for employers to request a GitHub profile as they would a LinkedIn profile. However, as great as the code hosting tool is for showboating talents, it does so much more. 

GitHub’s primary functions provide version control using Git and Internet hosting for web applications. As the platform continues to grow, new features are developed to enhance the primary functions and the development process as a whole. Understanding the magnitude of GitHub’s benefits, and how to use it to its fullest ability, will help advance your team’s productivity (as well as your career path).

Four Tips to Improve Your GitHub Experience

Over the past few weeks, our dev team has provided GitHub tips and tricks on DataMotion’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to help users better utilize this version control tool. Below are the four tips we have provided to date, aggregated into a blog post for easy, convenient review.  

We created these tips to enhance an already-basic knowledge of the GitHub platform, but for those of you who are still pretty new to GitHub and would like more information on how to get started, visit their quick start guide.

GitHub Tip #1

Just as developers can showcase their software projects on GitHub, the GitHub Gist feature allows developers to easily display snippets of code as well. The gists are hosted on GitHub as any other repository would be and can be found on one’s GitHub profile. 

Gists can be used to share data and snippets of code through a URL or embed them into your webpages as I have below. By adding a quick source tag to our HTML, I was able to embed an example gist I created to this blog. 

This feature allowed me to easily provide the formatted code needed to get a DataMotion session key now without having to link to a full GitHub repo. Gists can be extremely useful when building documentation pages, how-to guides and, of course, technical blogs.

GitHub Tip #2

When collaborating on a project, you may want to fork a repository and push your changes to the main repo when you’re ready to contribute. This is a helpful strategy, but requires continuous pulling of the changes your partners push to the main project to ensure you are working with the latest code. Thankfully, GitHub makes it easy to know when you need to fetch these changes. 

Once your project is forked, make sure to enable the “Watch” feature on the main repository. By doing so, GitHub will notify you when a fetch is required. To do so, navigate to the main repository, select the watch button in the top right corner of the page, and choose your desired option!

To enable the "watch" feature on the main repository, click "watch" in the top right corner of the page and choose either "participating and @mentions," "all activity," "ignore," or "custom."

GitHub Tip #3

When collaborating on a development project, you can keep track of tasks by assigning bugs and feature requests with GitHub’s “Issues.” This feature allows users to create issues, which outline the different tasks that must be accomplished in order to complete a project. Developers can link to the issue in their push and pull requests in order to keep track of the issue’s progress. 

This adds issue tracking functionality on top of version control which helps further organize the development process. To get started, navigate to your project’s repository, select “Issues” at the top of the page followed by the “New Issue” button. From here, you can start filling out the details.

To create an "issue" select "issues" at the top of the page, then "new issue," then fill out the details when prompted

GitHub Tip #4

Now that we understand how the ‘Issues’ feature works, I’ll expand upon it. Developers may have a list of smaller tasks that need to be completed for one larger feature to be accomplished. To keep track of progress on a group of issues, utilize GitHub’s Milestones. 

The Milestones feature allows you to prioritize tasks and monitor which issues are completed and which are still open. You can also add a due date to each milestone to help better plan releases and keep to a specified development timeline. 

You can find more information on milestones within GitHub’s documentation. 

Key Takeaways

GitHub is an excellent tool for showcasing hosted code, but you can now see just how much more it has to offer. With the four tips reviewed today, you can enhance your development process and streamline collaboration by: 

  • Utilizing GitHub gists to share and display snippets of code
  • Ensuring you are notified when you must fetch upstream from a forked project 
  • Keeping track of bugs and feature requests with GitHub’s Issues
  • Using Milestones in order to group and prioritize various Issues

In the coming several weeks, every Tuesday, we will provide additional GitHub tips on DataMotion’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. In the meantime, be sure to check out DataMotion’s GitHub profile to find our projects and development resources. To learn more about DataMotion and our products, visit our documentation site or contact our team of experts. 

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Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center 735 313 Christian Grunkemeyer

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center

Picture this:

You are a wealth manager. One of your clients wants to send you the details of an investment opportunity their brother-in-law shared at last weekend’s get-together. Rather than mail these documents, send them by courier, or bring them physically to your office, the client opens a heavily-fortified safe (with your branding) right in front of their desk. They drop the documents in, closing the safe’s door securely with a satisfying click. These documents are then transported via a thick, impenetrable vacuum tube directly to you and your team. Once the documents arrive in your own fortified safe, you may access these and previous exchanges that also live in this safe to inform your comments. You then send your reply and information via the secure tube system back to your client’s safe, where they can pick up the discussion.

Your client has just had an incredibly easy experience securely sending sensitive information from a place that is convenient for them, and can access messages in a place that is equally convenient and secure. No one in your firm has had to adjust their workflow for this secure exchange. This process, while perhaps sounding suspiciously like regular email, is markedly different. Unlike regular email, the sensitive data you are exchanging with your client is kept fully secure during transit, and the messages are stored just as securely, helping to keep your firm within regulatory compliance. Also, unlike regular email, this process integrates with your methods of customer communication, such as web and mobile applications and customer portals, delivering messages and documents just as quickly and securely.

Welcome to the principle behind DataMotion’s secure message center.

In this installment of the “Meet the Secure Message Center” series, we’ll give you the basics of the secure message center. In later installments, we’ll help you get further acquainted by discussing use cases and covering some questions you may have.

What is the Secure Message Center and How Does it Work?

The DataMotion secure message center is a highly secure, versatile, and integrable communications solution that connects back-end systems, such as email, case management, and call and help centers, to your client-facing apps (mobile and web) and customer portals. The secure message center can be part of an omnichannel approach, or a standalone solution.

How does it work? Let’s re-visit our wealth management client. Rather than a branded safe in their wall right in front of them, the client can go to the firm’s website, and log into the customer-facing portal as usual. From there, they can create a message (which might include information such as account or Social Security numbers), attach their documents, and send. The message is encrypted while in transit, and arrives at a secure inbox. The intended recipients and other authorized viewers, such as help center staff,  may then review the documents and quickly respond. The client is alerted to the new message in the portal, and may access that and any other message they have exchanged with the advisor. Each exchange is also logged and tracked, which can help with proving compliance.

Why Should I Implement the Secure Message Center?

“We’re not software developers.”

This is something we hear from folks across industries who are seeking to implement secure communications. Securely sharing sensitive data while remaining within regulatory compliance is a common pain point, and your enterprise should not have to develop its own solution. In order to include security into customer exchanges, companies will often turn to additional software, both from in-house development and third-party vendors, which often include additional steps, to the workflow, interfering with internal efficiency and the customer experience.  For instance, what could be a simple inquiry via a company’s customer portal turns into a customer rep having to send the customer an email with a link to a third-party portal, using “Secure” in the subject line. The customer must then wait for the email, then click the link, create a username and password, then navigate an unfamiliar portal and send information.

This doesn’t sound very efficient or customer-friendly, does it? But it happens.

DataMotion’s secure message center eliminates the need to develop new solutions, or to remove or change your current systems. Along these lines, the secure message center also eliminates many of the steps we’ve listed above. This is because the secure message center is integrable with your existing workflow, allowing contact center reps to work in their regular environment, while delivering security and simplifying the customer experience.

Finally, let’s talk security. Founded in 1999, DataMotion has over 20 years of experience in providing secure digital platforms for organizations in regulated industries. With this amount of experience and knowledge of use cases, we have developed strong security coding and protocols to keep your customer and patient data safe. Here are a few elements of our security:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • A zero-trust, governed database
  • Verifiable Compliance: HIPAA, HITECH, FFIEC, NYDFS, FRB, GLBA

In short, the collective “why” is that the secure message center provides strong security, can be fully integrated with your existing systems, helps your organization stay compliant with regulations, and offers ease of use for both your customers and staff.

Who Should Implement the Secure Message Center?

Any enterprise can benefit from using the secure message center, particularly organizations in regulated industries. But security isn’t just about compliance. Your company might need to send proprietary product design information. You might also need a secure way for a news source, or a whistleblower, to contact you. Below is a quick, but not exhaustive, list of organizations that must ensure secure, encrypted communications:

  • Organizations within the healthcare ecosystem, including vendors, providers, and payers
  • Wealth management firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks, both investment and retail
  • Media organizations
  • Manufacturing companies
  • State, local and municipal organizations, including protective services, law enforcement, and others
  • Law firms

In the next installment in this series, we’ll discuss this further, diving into some use cases.

Key Takeaways

You’ve now met DataMotion’s secure message center–a flexible, secure digital platform that allows organizations in any industry to easily, securely and compliantly communicate with their patients, clients and customers. While the secure message center can include email communications, it is really a solution to keep all of your communication tools, including email, customer apps and portals, in one place for simple, secure and compliant communications. Here is a quick review of the basics:

  • Frictionless Customer Experience Enables secure communications as part of your existing customer-facing portal and/or web and mobile applications. No need for customers to go to a third-party portal for secure messaging.
  • Increased Efficiency Contact center reps can access previous customer messages and, without gathering physical documents or going through additional security steps, can quickly and securely respond to inquiries.
  • Versatile and Integrable The secure message center can seamlessly integrate with, and securely connect, back-end systems, including email, contact centers, case management, etc.

Features

  • Ironclad Security DataMotion uses a zero-trust, governed database and military-grade encryption, helping to keep data secure and your organization compliant.
  • Ease of Use The secure message center enables single sign on for customers, eliminating additional passwords. It also works with your current workflow–there is no need to retrain staff.
  • Co-branded Portal The secure message center is customizable for your logo, colors and branding.
  • Tracking Every message and document are logged and tracked, with reporting available.

As we mentioned above, in the next installment of this series, we’ll take a closer look at customer use cases, and how this solution can benefit your enterprise. If you have questions about the secure message center and how it can benefit your organization, or would like to learn more about DataMotion and our larger digital platform, please reach out to our team of experts.

We also invite you to try out our capabilities by downloading DataMotion’s free mobile app, available in the Apple App store.

Be Sure To Read the Other Parts of This Series:
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Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru 736 312 Heather Post

Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru

Kevin Miller, DataMotion Security Specialist, recently celebrated his seventh anniversary here at the company. During this time, Kevin has worn many hats and brought a wealth of knowledge to the table, including his proficiency of the Postman API testing application, of which he can be considered a subject matter expert. He has helped many of his colleagues and customers understand Postman, and how to succeed with the tool. Kevin was kind enough to sit down with us to share his experience, as well as some tips on how to leverage Postman to its fullest capability. 

Heather Post, DataMotion Developer Advocate: Kevin, thanks for your time. And congratulations on the work anniversary!

Kevin Miller: Heather, thanks—it’s a great achievement.

HP: Throughout your time at DataMotion, you have held a few different titles leading to your current position as the Security Specialist within our Engineering department. Can you tell us more about your role, and what that entails? 

KM: Today, my duties include handling security documents and statements, ranging from our information security plans and operating procedures, to our business continuity and disaster recovery. Security assessments from third parties, especially the bigger assessments like EHNAC and now HITRUST, fall under this umbrella as well.

In the past, I worked closely with support and sales to assist with questions relating to API integrations or specific product integrations, such as those involving Salesforce and the DataMotion secure email content filter. I’m still happy to help both departments when needed. 

HP: I understand that you have had the opportunity to use Postman extensively. Can you explain what Postman is?

KM: Sure! In a nutshell, Postman is a desktop application for performing web requests. As DataMotion provides an extensive number of APIs to go along with our system, Postman provides an easy way to quickly test those APIs or demonstrate their use if questions come up during conversations with customers.

HP: When did you first start using Postman?

KM: My first experience with Postman was back in late 2015 during the initial release phase for SecureMail 5.37 (now referred to as secure messaging center) when our REST APIs were first released. 

It was easy to get the hang of Postman, and it helped us quickly test DataMotion’s REST APIs without the need to build an application to do so for each. The ease of use of Postman at the time lay in the fact that it was a GUI application that was able to perform API requests without requiring vast knowledge of programming techniques. All that was required was the appropriate URLs for the API requests and entering their expected request bodies. Then, all you had to do was click a button to send your request and receive an easy-to-read response. All of this is still true in regard to Postman today. 

HP: Are there any specific projects where Postman plays a significant role?

KM: Most of DataMotion’s current projects involve API development, whether it be the original messaging products or the newer projects being integrated into the self-service portal for our customers to easily use. When creating a new API, we use Postman heavily to test functionality and to ensure the API will handle various parameters correctly. We also use Postman for internal and customer-facing demonstrations. 

Therefore, I would say any time you are developing or adding functionality to an API, that is a great time to use Postman. 

HP: What are some of your tips and tricks for using Postman successfully?

KM: I would advise several actions to make things easier when using Postman. 

The first tip I would recommend is utilizing variables. If you have to utilize the same information in multiple API calls, you can replace this information with a variable and define the value of that variable for an entire collection of calls. Therefore, if you need a session key to run all of your calls but login, you can update this value in one spot rather than having to do so for each of the calls you will be testing. 

My second tip is to create a set of environments that coincide with different sets of URLs. This is particularly helpful when working within our own systems, as many of the functions remain the same, but the base URLs change depending on the system. I simply create one of those useful variables for the base URL and update it based on which environment I will be using. This, again, saves time and the hassle of creating multiple collections of the same API calls.

The third action I’d recommend is very specific to our own messaging products, but is quite useful. This is to create a short console script in the ‘Tests’ category that carries the session key over to other requests in the collection. As an example of how this helps me, I have created a script that will update that session key variable that I mentioned earlier every time I call my Login API call. This streamlines the process of updating the variable and allows me to run any of my API calls directly after logging in. 

HP: Can you explain what the DataMotion Postman collections are, and how they can be used?

KM: All of DataMotion’s Postman collections are geared towards its messaging products, and are best suited for development teams to test sending their expected payloads via API, or for those customers who have on-premise systems to test the APIs within their own environments.

HP: One last question. Do you have any advice for developers who are just getting started with Postman?

KM: For those that have never used Postman, it is a good idea to use a pre-built set of collections to get used to what a request in the application will look like, how to trigger the requests, and what to expect in the response. This will make you much more familiar with the product when it comes time to build and test your own API.

HP: Kevin, thank you for your time today, and for all of the great information!

KM: You’re very welcome!

For additional Postman tips and tricks, check out our blog posts “4 Tips for Becoming a Postman Guru” and “4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru” which rounded up our Postman series on social media. Finally, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to catch our next tips and tricks series, which focuses on GitHub.

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The DataMotion October Hot List 1024 435 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion October Hot List

Greetings, readers, and Happy November! As always, we hope that this blog post meets you in the midst of a positive and productive week.

As you may know, October was Cybersecurity Awareness Month. But as a company with over 20 years of experience in secure exchange, we at DataMotion believe that every month should be cybersecurity awareness month. In this vein, we put together a toolkit to help your organization stay secure year-round. We also published takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2021, and a round-up of the second half of our Postman tips and tricks series we shared on social media. Our next series of tips focuses on GitHub, and we think you’ll find this series helpful! You can find the series by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into October in the DataMotion Blog.

What You Missed in October

Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021 “Suffice it to say, there are ample opportunities for technological innovation in the insurance space for companies to help brokers and advisers better, and more securely, communicate with their policy holders.” In this post to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion Director of Sales Success Christian Grunkemeyer shared his takeaways from ITC Vegas 2021 and the possibilities in store for the insurance vertical. (Note: Whether you attended this event and missed Christian, or would just like to discuss how DataMotion’s secure exchange solutions can benefit your organization, please reach out to our team of experts, who will be happy to set up an introductory call.)

4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru “…just like sharks can never stop swimming, developers can never stop learning. When I come across some new tips on how to better use some of my favorite (and arguably, most important) tools, I jump at the chance to learn. And that’s why I want to share some amazing Postman tips for API testing.” A series so nice we rounded it up twice—in this blog entry, DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post shared the second half of our Postman tips and tricks series. (In case you missed it, check out part one.)

Aggregating Awareness: Your Cybersecurity Month Arsenal “…the digital landscape is changing rapidly.  New opportunities for digital business also present new opportunities for internal and external security threats…But armoring your systems for security and compliance should not hinder a smooth customer experience, nor should these factors interfere with your organization’s workflows.” DataMotion Content Manager Andrea Meyer and Content and Digital Marketing Specialist Sarah Parks have compiled a number of DataMotion Blog posts and other reference materials to help you keep your data secure year-round.

The DataMotion September Hot List In case you missed it in September, the DataMotion Blog played host to the first half of the Postman tips and tricks series, a list of five things to consider before developing software in-house, and more.

From ‘Round the Web

As we have over the past several months, we will once again present cybersecurity news and insights from around the web, including an article from Forbes as to why cybersecurity awareness must extend beyond the official month (we couldn’t agree more). We’re also sharing an article that explores why so many enterprises are not effectively managing cyber risks and resilience, and a list of what you need to know about keeping your data secure going into 2022.

From Forbes: Cybersecurity Awareness Must Extend Beyond The “Month”

From SiliconANGLE: Study Finds Over Half of Enterprises Are Not Effectively Stopping Cyberattacks

From Security Intelligence: What You Need to Know About Data Security Heading into 2022

This month and next, we’re looking forward to sharing news about new DataMotion products, more tips and tricks for using Postman, and some of this year’s editor’s picks. And as a quick note, like so many of our American readers, the DataMotion Blog will take a break the week of November 22nd to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

But before breaking for the holiday, don’t forget to get a jump on 2022 and subscribe to the DataMotion Newsletter, which delivers industry insights, news, and trends to your inbox once a month.

That is about all for now. Thanks for a great October, and we look forward to seeing you in November!

Man touching digital lock in front of him. Cybersecurity, lock and shield concept
Aggregating Awareness: Your Cybersecurity Month Arsenal 736 313 Andrea Meyer

Aggregating Awareness: Your Cybersecurity Month Arsenal

While October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, organizations should take care every day of every month to ensure that their data is protected while in use, at rest, and in motion. In today’s entry to the DataMotion Blog, we’re creating a cybersecurity toolkit for you with blog posts, whitepapers, and other resources for you to use year-round, as well as a quick summary of how DataMotion keeps your data secure while helping your organization enable compliance.

Suiting Up for Battle

Below are a few entries to the DataMotion blog that will help inform your security outlook and arm your team in the battle against internal and external security threats. This section will include a guide to the zero-trust security model, a series outlining where vulnerabilities may lie within your organization, and a look at the troubling rise of Ransomware as a Service.

DataMotion: A Zero Trust Model You Can Trust “Your organization has trusted but verified, perhaps verified then trusted. But is the ‘trust but verify’ standard enough? Are you really operating as safely as you could, or rather, should be in today’s cyber climate?” In this post to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek dives into the zero-trust security model, why you should adopt it, and how this helps our customers stay secure.

Danger for Data “In the first part of this blog series, we will cover the top five risk-prone areas that developers and software engineers should be aware of. In parts two and three, we’ll focus on some of the people-oriented processes putting you at risk of a breach, following up with some actionable tips and recommendations for organizations to protect themselves and their customers’ data.” In this series, DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek explored where vulnerabilities may lie within your organization, and steps you can take today to protect your organization and your data.

Rise of RaaS “Cybercrime groups will do their diligence to identify corporations with ransom insurance, or finances earmarked specifically for that purpose. While larger enterprises are currently the favorite for cyberattacks, smaller organizations also fall victim.” In this three-part series to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post offers an overview of Ransomware as a Service, how this growing industry can turn your vendors into risk factors, the costs of a cyberattack, and what you can do about it.

A Fully-Armored, Secure Digital Future

To sum up, the digital landscape is changing rapidly.  New opportunities for digital business also present new opportunities for internal and external security threats. Therefore, it is critical that your security practices and protocols keep in-step with these changes. But armoring your systems for security and compliance should not hinder a smooth customer experience, nor should these factors interfere with your organization’s workflows.

Here at DataMotion, we are delivering a secure digital future. We offer a large, flexible platform of services that can adapt to your organization’s needs both today and in the future. Whether you need a full suite of APIs for integrating a secure message center, or a standalone secure email service, our solutions can easily integrate into your existing workflows without disruption. Our integrations include a wide range of APIs, connectors, and protocols, making it possible to securely exchange data from virtually any source, such as a secure website form, and having it reach any delivery endpoint.

Here is a glimpse of what your enterprise can expect with DataMotion’s secure exchange services:

  • Ease of Use DataMotion’s solutions easily integrate into your enterprise’s existing workflows and customer interface. Your customers will have a seamless experience within your website’s portal while your team continues to conduct business as usual without interruption or re-training.
  • Maximum Security Our solutions live on a zero-trust, secure governed database, and use military-grade encryption. We also offer monitoring, support and escalation with our US-based team.
  • Flexible Options We offer a number of services that are flexible and scalable to your enterprise’s current and future needs and requirements.
  • Third-Party Certifications DirectTrust/EHNAC Registration Authority, Certificate Authority, Health Information Service Provider, ONC-HIT 2015 Edition Health IT Modular Certification, and Microsoft Azure SOC2, and FedRAMP certified data center. Secure mailbox and Direct are in the process of HITRUST
  • Verifiable Compliance* HIPAA, GLBA, PCI-DSS, HITECH, GDPR, PIPEDA, FINRA, CJIS

We invite you to learn more about DataMotion, and how our services can complete your cybersecurity arsenal, by visiting us at datamotion.com, or reaching out to our team of experts.

*Verifiable Compliance: we help our customers achieve compliance with these regulations.

Additional DataMotion Reading and Resources

Female developer writing code on laptop with a monitor in front of her
4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru 736 313 Heather Post

4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru

Developers are a special breed. We never stop studying or programming, including outside of work. It comes with the job–just like sharks can never stop swimming, developers can never stop learning. When I come across some new tips and tricks on how to better use some of my favorite (and arguably, most important) tools, I jump at the chance to learn. And that’s why I want to share some amazing Postman tips for API testing with you in this Postman Guru series!

In my last post, we went over the benefits of working with the Postman API testing application, and I covered four tips to help get you started with your Postman learning goals. In today’s post, I’ll continue with four additional tips that will help you streamline your work and become a Postman master. If you missed the first post in this series, be sure to go back and check it out for additional tips and tricks.

For now, let’s swim on with another round of tips!

Rounding Up Four More Postman Tips and Tricks for API Testing

First Tip: Utilize the Postman Console to update environment variables with data from a JSON response

A great tip I recently learned utilizes the Postman console to update environment variables with data from a JSON response. You can write a quick script (example below) that will parse the JSON response returned after making a request, then update an environment variable with this response data – all within Postman.

I use this trick when getting a session key. There are many requests in the DataMotion Postman collection that require a session key, so I first made a ‘SessionKey’ variable that allows me to easily update each instance at one time (I go over how to create a variable in my previous post). Then I added the below code to my console, where I am capturing an updated session key from DataMotion’s ‘Get Sessionkey’ API call and populating the ‘SessionKey’ variable with the response.

var data = JSON.parse(responseBody);

postman.setEnvironmentVariable(“SessionKey”, data.SessionKey);

Now the ‘SessionKey’ variable within most of my requests will always reflect the most updated session key received with the ‘GetSessionkey’ API call.

Second Tip: Utilize Postman’s find and replace feature

We figured out how to create and update variable values very easily, but what about the variable name? As I said before, the session key variable is scattered across the DataMotion collection. If the variable name needed to change or be updated, it would be a long and menial task to complete. However, this work can be replaced with Postman’s find and replace feature.

To rename a variable, such as the session key variable or an attribute name, navigate to the bottom right of your Postman window to find the “Find and Replace” button. Select this button and type in the phrase or regex pattern you would like to identify. From here, select specific instances of this phrase that you would like to update, or select all. Then enter the new phrase you would like to replace these instances with under the “Replace With” section and hit “Replace”.

Voila! Your variable names have been updated.

Navigate to bottom right of Postman window and find the "Find and Replace" button

Third Tip: Select the code icon on the right panel to get a code snippet of the request

We learned in the last post of this tip series that Postman is an API testing tool, so it’s great for testing out your API calls. But did you know it can help turn these requests into code, too? Once your Postman request is configured, you can select the code icon on the right panel, select a programming language, and copy a code snippet of the request.

From here, you can go ahead and add this snippet in your projects for easy development!

Select code icon in right panel to get code snippet

Fourth Tip: Create documentation for your collections with the documentation icon on the right panel

The magic doesn’t stop there. As a final tip, you can create API documentation for your Postman collections with the documentation icon on the right panel as well.

Once you have selected the documentation icon, you will see documentation for your request that includes details on the endpoint, parameters, headers and body values. You can also select ‘View the complete documentation’ button at the bottom of this view to get documentation on your entire collection. From here, you can select publish in the top right corner to publish this information, directly from Postman.

Create API documentation for collections with documentation icon

More Tips Are on The Way!

It’s official: you are that much closer to becoming a Postman guru! I would recommend trying these tips out on a test collection, or a collection you’re very familiar with, before implementing these new skills in your everyday workflow. Once these skills are implemented, you will be flying through your Postman tasks.

I’ll be back with more tips and tricks on your favorite programming tools soon–the next series will be posted on our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages every Tuesday. Be sure to check them out!

To test DataMotion secure message center APIs, you can download our Postman collections on GitHub. To find out more on how our secure message center APIs can help you, visit datamotion.com.

Woman filling out life insurance form while man with laptop sits next to her
Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021 736 312 Christian Grunkemeyer

Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021

On October 4-6, Team DataMotion’s Director of Sales Success, Christian Grunkemeyer, attended ITC Vegas 2021. This event presented an incredible opportunity for in-depth conversations about what is happening in the insurance vertical, and what we can expect in the future. It was also Christian’s first in-person event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Christian kindly sat with DataMotion’s Andrea Meyer and Sarah Parks for a brief interview to share his takeaways on the event, some of the challenges faced in the industry, and innovations on the horizon.

Christian, welcome back, and thanks for taking the time to speak with us. First, how was Las Vegas?

Christian Grunkemeyer: Thanks—it is good to be back! As always, Las Vegas is a great place to have a conference. I spent most of my time at the event, of course, and didn’t do much sightseeing, but the event provided some tremendous entertainment for attendees!

We definitely want to hear about the entertainment aspect—it sounds like there is a good story there! But first, let’s talk about the event as a whole. Were there any overarching themes that you took away through conversations, or attending sessions?

CG: Oh, absolutely. This is an event for the insurance space, which has a unique set of challenges—including abiding by compliance regulations and, of course, offering a first-in-class customer experience. As such, this event was incredibly positive, and a lot of the conversation focused directly on the policyholder, and specifically, how companies in the space can leverage technology to make onboarding, insurance-related events, and other aspects of the customer experience easier on both the customers and internal teams.

AI was the focus of a lot of conversations, largely in the context of how companies can use the years of data they have stored. Companies are looking to leverage that data in a way that saves money, creates intelligent exchanges with policy holders, and enables fraud protection and detection.

To sum up, organizations in the space are looking for AI-driven technologies, multiple integration options, and technological methods to automate internal processes and better detect, and prevent, fraud.

View of outdoors ITC Vegas 2021 conference

Q: You mentioned leveraging technology to make the policy holder experience better—from what you heard, what is the state of technology at companies right now?

CG: The long and short of it is, brokers don’t have a lot of technology in-house. In fact, up until last year, in-person meetings with paper and binders was still the norm. The technology they do have tends to be older, which means that companies with modern challenges are really relying on legacy systems. Often, these systems are an odd mix of older and newer systems that are patched together. Rather than scrap the original, older system, the company will Band-aid it with another system that performs another function well. Eventually, that will also be bandaged with still another system that picks up the slack of yet another function. Fast forward 20 years, and these folks have found themselves with five or six systems that are patched together and are ultimately doing the same things.

Q: Tell us more about that moment of reckoning 20 years and five or six systems later. It sounds like some companies are at this mark now—what are they doing to address this?

CG:  The example I was just referring to was referencing a number of CRMs that could be at a given company. This system patchwork tends to be a combination of CRMs that include out-of-the box, big-name systems that are used with a homegrown system that performs a specific function. Rather than replace the system with a newer version that encompasses all of the needed functions, these systems are patched together, creating an inefficient redundancy.

As a result, companies will have multiple systems that function like a CRM—some are customer-driven, some are prospect-driven. Rather than efficiently consolidating these systems or going for a new one altogether, they keep these systems around for very specific use cases, and just combine the systems. On top of that, they will have two customer service systems—one that services customers, and another servicing partners. This results in data overlap, delays in accurately logging data, and overwritten data.

Companies try to rectify this by creating daily data flows that upload all data into one system of record. But that system of record can change, and agents may not know what that day’s system of record is. This means that if an agent took time to upload the data, but did so into the incorrect system, the data flow can delete or overwrite all of that information, and it could be gone the next day.

Q: This sounds like a real challenge. We have to ask, how does this affect the customer experience?

CG: Customers that are trying to get support are met with agents that cannot find their information. This leads to delays in customer assistance, and policy holders very often need to repeat their information, as it was probably lost or overwritten. Obviously, this is not a good experience for the customer, and is quite inefficient internally.

Q: This conference was customer service-heavy. What are some of the challenges that companies are facing in this area? Did anyone mention a specific opportunity to provide a smoother customer experience?

CG: The sentiment is that there are a lot of opportunities to bring potentially disparate areas into one experience for the policy holders, while obviously keeping things secure and within compliance. For instance, from a policy holder’s perspective, they don’t want to be forced into multiple portals—and their insurance provider doesn’t want them to jump through those hoops, either. Providers want customers to be able to easily communicate all of their insurance information, securely and within compliance protocols, without the multiple portals.

The larger goal here is really simplifying the process while keeping things secure and compliant. For instance, a policy holder might already have life insurance with a company. But they might decide to add car or renter’s insurance to their policy, and this should be as smooth an experience as possible.  In a nutshell, they should be able to easily communicate, and share supporting documentation, with agents in different departments without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

While the policy holder-facing process and experience are tremendously important, there is also a business-to-business aspect to this. Insurance companies regularly communicate with re-insurers, as well as other business entities, and these communications must be conducted securely and within stringent regulatory protocols. This aspect should also have a smooth, and effortless process.

Christian Grunkemeyer at InsureTech Connect 2021 conference in Vegas

As far as solution needs, what resonated with you in relation to DataMotion’s services?

CG: Most brokers are looking to move to a cloud-based solution, with a SaaS model. The expectation is that monthly fees have become the norm, rather than annual subscription fees.

One quote from my pre-show blog seemed very applicable to this, and what we discussed on the show floor: “…APIs help facilitate rapid and frictionless integration(s) across an enterprise’s solutions ecosystem (call center, CRM, ticketing system, etc.). The scalability of a cloud solution maximizes useful life, and minimizes year-over-year cost of ownership. The integration goals have been to enable full omnichannel capabilities of their backbone solution(s).”

Being a secure, cloud-based communications platform with flexible integration options, DataMotion seems to check all of the boxes when it comes to helping brokers modernize and digitally communicate in ways that are natural for their policy holders.

As a matter of fact, we have a customer experience-focused case study that speaks to this point. The case study focuses on an organization that integrated a secure message center behind their client portal. The system was then able to seamlessly facilitate secure and compliant communications with their internal email platform (in this case, MS 365).

Christian, it’s time to dust off your crystal ball–what innovations were discussed for the future of the industry?

CG:  Suffice it to say, there are ample opportunities for technological innovation in the insurance space for companies to help brokers and advisers better, and more securely, communicate with their policy holders.

As for as something specific, there were a lot of interesting ideas in the space, including disrupting the traditional model for auto insurance. What could potentially be coming down the road is a new pay-as-you-go model. Let’s say someone lives in a city and doesn’t drive so much. That policy holder, rather than paying for a month of coverage, could pay for abbreviated coverage that corresponds with the use of their vehicle. They could pay for, say, coverage for a week at a different rate than they would monthly coverage. This is something that was discussed as a general idea and a potential option for customers.

This sounds like an incredibly informative event.

CG: It definitely was, and I am looking forward to going again next year!

One more question—you mentioned some entertainment. What was the stand-out moment for you?

CG: There was a Ludacris concert on the beach at the Mandalay Bay resort, and it was…ludicrous!

That is a ludicrous pun.

CG: I know and make no apologies. I managed to snap a panoramic picture from where I was standing. My shoes were too nice to go in the water, but I bet it was a really exciting experience for everyone in the pool underneath the stage.

So note to self: next conference, wear boat shoes.

Panoramic of Ludacris concert at InsureTech Connect 2021

We’d like to thank Christian for taking the time to speak with us and sharing his takeaways. If you attended the event and missed connecting with Christian, or would like to hear more about how DataMotion’s solutions can help your organization with secure and compliant exchanges, please contact our team of experts.