All things being equal, security experts prefer software that works with on-site servers rather than remote databases accessible only through the Internet. The in-house database solution, however, may not be the right choice for all users, especially for smaller firms without sufficient physical security and technical infrastructure. But even in such cases, customers don’t have to sacrifice security if they select the right software for processing their immigration cases and store their data in a manner recommended by Internet security experts.
As a general rule, an I-9, E-Verify, or immigration software company that has been in business for quite some time and is highly rated by major corporations and top immigration attorneys offers a higher level of data security and a better value for its products. For Web-based systems, the critical question to ask is whether they store client information in one large central database or provide each client with its own separate database, which is the closest to having an in-house server behind your company’s firewall but without the hassle and expense.
An analysis of the I-9, E-Verify and immigration management software market reveals that not all Web-based services are the same. Some companies commingle data in one central database to make it cheaper for them while passing on the risk to the consumer. Probably the only company that has stayed away from this practice has been ImmigrationTracker™, a leading proponent of using secure data storage practices within the immigration, Form I-9, and E-Verify software industry. (www.immigrationtracker.com) ImmigrationTracker™ is the developer of Tracker I-9™ (www.trackeri9) Form I-9 software with E-Verify and work visa management system. Law firms and Fortune 500 US companies, which have the highest data security requirements, rely on ImmigrationTracker™ software for Form I-9 and immigration-related data management. Other software companies have never produced such on-premise systems or are only beginning to enter the field.
Nearly all Form I-9, E-Verify and immigration software companies which host data for their clients put all sensitive information in one central database. Tracker I-9™ differs in this respect by offering a separate database for each client. In all cases, clients can access their data remotely, but the level of data security is not the same. According to Microsoft, “customers in fields such as banking or medical records management often have very strong data isolation requirements, and may not even consider an application that does not supply each tenant with its own individual database.” Law firms have equally strong requirements for data security, as do HR departments of corporations, as well as hospitals and universities employing foreign nationals on US work visas.
Using one central database is less expensive and less cumbersome for the software provider. It requires less technical oversight, less equipment, and ultimately less work. It is, however, less secure for the users, as it raises the possibility of commingling of data, loss of data, and clients receiving their competitors’ information by mistake. The single online database solution also makes it much easier for hackers or others who deliberately try to obtain sensitive information. The number of built-in protections, gatekeepers, and password-restricted areas is lower in one-database systems than in systems using separate databases.
Another important consideration in evaluating Form I-9, E-Verify and immigration management software is the archiving of information and the ease of data retrieval. One-database systems make it more difficult and less certain for clients to successfully retrieve their data backups. Users of such systems have complained of being unable in some cases to get access to information that should have been archived and of data being irretrievably lost after a short period of time.
Because of its multiple database solution, as well as other technical features and superior customer service, Tracker I-9™ clients have more secure and easier access to their sensitive information. They can also quickly move from hosted to on-premise system when business expansion justifies storage of data on an in-house server.
This article was written by Ted Lipien, editor of VISAandLAW.com, a global immigration law news website.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.