The new ransom: cyber extortion

cyber_extortionA cybersecurity issue that many companies fail to prepare for or even consider is cyber extortion, especially distributed denial of service (DDoS) threats involving ransom demands. Such attacks are intended to impede a victim’s capability to conduct business online until the ransom is paid. Hackers have not abandoned traditional data breaches however, these incidents are not as lucrative because the black market for credit card and Social Security data is over saturated. Any company or organization, regardless of size, is at risk and should consider what’s at stake if they are threatened with a cyber extortion claim. Confirmed victims of cyber extortion include everything from police departments to fortune 500 hundred companies. Read more…

New insurance template for Swiss clinical trials

October 2, 2015 Leave a comment

clinicalTrialsThe Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans has recently released a new certificate of insurance/policy template that insurers must follow. As part of this new format, the Committee now requires the insured risk be categorized as category A, B, or C as outlined by Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (Clinical Trials Ordinance; ClinO) of September 20, 2013 (Status as of January 1, 2014). Insurers do not have the descriptions for the classifications, and are prohibited from providing advice regarding categorization of a trial. Sponsors or their CROs must seek advice from the Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans to determine the appropriate classification for their trial. Categorization of the trial is required before the certificate of insurance meets the requirements of the Human Research Act (HRA) and the Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (ClinO) can be issued. Certificates cannot be issued without the categorization of the Insured risk. Read more…

Flood insurance changes to note as Hurricane Joaquin hits the East Coast

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

flood_businessHurricane season began back on June 1st, but people often forget that it extends until November 30th. The summer along the East Coast was very mild in terms of the number and intensity of storms, but the emergence of Category 1 Hurricane Joaquin has disrupted this lull with its torrential rain and flooding. Ninety percent of all natural disasters include flooding, which highlights the importance of possessing flood insurance. Bear in mind that everybody is in a flood zone, but some areas are at greater risk than others. Even if you do not live or own a business on the east coast and are far away from Joaquin’s path, all 50 states have been hit by floods or flash flooding in the past five years.
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Do you have the appropriate workplace violence coverage?

September 24, 2015 Leave a comment

worker_stressedOften times, the public only hears about extreme examples of workplace violence, such as the Virginia shooting homicide of two journalists on live television or the beheading of a woman at an Oklahoma food processing plant. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports that roughly two million workers per year are the victim of workplace violence. This includes everything from verbal abuse to physical assaults to homicide. Contrary to popular belief, workplace violence is not always about work, and can be completely random. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the assailant had no known personal relationship with his or her victims in two-thirds of workplace homicides.  The frequency of these incidents is creating pressure for employers and risk managers to develop preparedness to deal with such challenges.
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Lithium batteries and air shipment risks

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

batteryLithium-ion batteries were cited in South Korean investigators’ final report as a contributing factor in the 2011 Asiana Airlines Boing 747 crash that killed both pilots on board.  Since 2006, lithium-ion batteries have been connected to several airline cargo fires including two jumbo jet crashes and a UPS cargo plane emergency landing.  Also interesting to note, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was reported to have been carrying 440lb of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium batteries, when packed tightly together, can overheat and emit gasses which build up leading to fire and explosions.  Recent testing by the Federal Aviation Administration shows aircraft fire protection systems “are unable to suppress or extinguish a fire involving significant quantities of lithium batteries, resulting in reduced time available for safe flight and landing of an aircraft to a diversion airport,” aircraft makers said. “Therefore, continuing to allow the carriage of lithium batteries within today’s transport category aircraft cargo compartments is an unacceptable risk to the air transport industry.” Read more…

Internet conglomerate enters the insurance market

September 16, 2015 Leave a comment

medicalsecurityThe latest news that Google is investing in consumer health insurer, Oscar Health Insurance, will no doubt have traditional health insurers worried.  How worried is the question.

Stories outline that Oscar Health will deploy wellness techniques including free fitness devices and more telemedicine while focusing on becoming more of an internet service than traditional health insurers.  However, these are hardly big new discoveries.  Nor are there any barriers keeping traditional insurers from copying the tactics if they work.   Read more…

Energy cyber concerns are real, report reveals hacks

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

powergridIt was reported this week that cyber attackers compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems over 150 times between 2010 and 2014. The information came from a review of federal records and confirms what many of us have long feared was the case, that the cyber attacks against our energy infrastructure are a reality and could be potentially devastating.

USA Today, with the help of various reporters across the country, obtained access to federal energy records and found that nearly every four days, part of the nation’s power grid is struck by a cyber or physical attack, potentially leaving millions in the dark. The records obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, confirm the vulnerability of such an attack on our critical energy infrastructure. Read more…


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