Electronic Reporting Part II – Data Protection

Danielle Herring
February 14, 2012
In these modern times, security of sensitive data is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Clients, vendors, and employees should be able to trust that their sensitive data such as social security numbers and account numbers are safe in your hands. You most likely have protocols in place within your company to maintain data security. If you send paper forms through regular mail to report to the states, then you could compromise the security you’ve tried so hard to ensure along the way.
The format used for electronic reporting results in a NAUPA II file. The NAUPA II file is a text file that places certain information in certain positions in the file according to the NAUPA specifications. It does not provide much security on its own as it is easily opened.
A few years ago, the company that provides the software the states use to open your report files came up with the NAUPA Encryption Utility. This company very graciously shared the encryption with other software vendors so they could incorporate it into their systems. UPExchange has this type of encryption in place. As far as I know, every other unclaimed property reporting software provider has it as well.
When the encryption is used, the NAUPA II file is produced with an HDE extension. An HDE file can only be opened with the decryption utility the states use. If you burn an HDE file to CD and it is intercepted during delivery to the state, it would be nearly impossible for someone to open it and get to the sensitive data inside. Believe me, many a curious holder has called our support line because they were not able to open the HDE file.
There are some states that do not use this encryption. Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington do not accept encrypted HDE files.
These states have other ways of providing secure delivery of your report. Almost all of these states have a secure file upload to their own websites. This encrypts the file as you submit it through the website. Others will allow you to apply your own encryption method as long as you provide the password and decryption information they need to open the file. Check with the individual states if you have questions about how you can deliver the NAUPA II file to them securely.
As you can see, it’s easy to maintain your data protection all along its path through your systems and eventually to the states if you use the electronic reporting method.

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Author

Danielle Herring

In her role as compliance manager for unclaimed property reporting, Danielle Herring oversees support of the product, researches changes in state unclaimed property laws so the system is updated to comply with them, and tests changes to the system before they are released. Danielle also completes some report and letter processing for current clients, assists with their direct support, provides customer training, and helps with troubleshooting and questions about using the product. Outside of work, Danielle loves to garden and is a master gardener.
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