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Examining the rewards and risks of wearable tech

wearable_techThe important role of technology in our daily lives continues to grow and is now being fueled by the development of smaller more personal devices. Wearable technology are small, electronic devices designed to track and collect data for various purposes – ranging from smart watches and fitness monitors, to full desktop experiences offered by smart glasses. According to a PwC report entitled The Wearable Future, twenty percent of Americans already own a wearable device and this number is expected to rise, with most users utilizes these devices to record exercise efficiency (81%), track dietary and medical info (71%), and for notifications on deals on retail purchases (51%).

The market for wearable tech is expected to expand with a jump from $5 billion in 2014 to over an estimated $12 billion by 2018, according to Statista. There is no denying the significant influence these wearable devices have on how we live and work, however as is the case with many forward-thinking innovations, along with the rewards of advancement also comes some risksRead more…

Marital affair website demonstrates new dimensions of personal data risk

man_computerCyber risk for most organizations has a focus on the personal data of customers.  Primarily this means social security numbers, date of birth, address, credit card numbers and the like.  All of that is bad enough when lost in connection with a data breach, but companies must now also be aware of growing threats of cyber extortion schemes.

The recent announcement that Ashley Madison, the marital-affair-promoting website, has been hacked and subject to extortion takes these problems to a new level.  Disapproving hackers have told Ashley Madison to shut down the site or the extortionists will release customer data.  Reports say that despite Ashley Madison’s policy that private data can be scrubbed from the site for $19, the data is still available to hackers.  The motives of the hackers are still unclear, but what is unusual is that it is not a demand for money. Read more…

Cooperation from companies is crucial in reducing burden of criminal investigation

flag_scale_gavelAccording to a spokeswoman from the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a company’s willingness to investigate its own possible wrongdoing and to identify those responsible, counts tremendously in the agency’s prosecutorial decisions. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell told the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University’s Law School that cooperation can, “significantly affect the length of the investigation and the costs incurred by the company. To receive cooperation credit, we expect companies to conduct appropriately tailored investigations designed to root out misconduct, identify wrongdoers and provide all available facts.” Read more…

The New York Stock Exchange network crash — a false sense of (cyber) security?

stocksMost people were relieved when investigators determined that the recent electronic disruptions at the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines were caused by internal glitches and not by hackers. The NYSE system crash, caused by a faulty software upgrade, and the United Airlines outage, caused by a faulty router, received great attention as pictures of (and tweets by) idle traders and travelers appeared seemingly everywhere.

Because they involved computers and networks, these outages were discussed by the media with the vocabulary normally used to describe “cyber” events. That’s not surprising, given the initial fear that the NYSE crash in particular was caused by hacking. Read more…

Social engineering fraud – are you prepared?

Social Engineering Fraud is not a new phenomenon.  Who hasn’t received an e-mail asking to voluntarily send personal information to another so we can receive some sort of a large reward?  Most are aware of it, perhaps not by that name.

It comes in the form of an email or a trusted site. Hackers have learned how to trick their targets into falling for their scheme by taking advantage of human nature. There are stages to the attacks that mimic abuse: information gathering, relationship development, exploitation and execution. This grooming of the victim can result in claims of up to 100,000 or more for just one attack. Read more…

Taller, more efficient wind turbines could come to all 50 states

cleanTechThe newest generation of wind turbines, currently under development by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with industry partners and research labs, could mean that wind energy is coming to all 50 states. According to the DOE’s May report, technological advancements featuring taller towers and longer blades will develop turbines able to generate more power more effectively. The new technology may eventually lead to expanded power production in the Southeast and other parts of the country where slower and more inconsistent wind speeds have made it difficult to develop utility-scale projects. Presently, wind energy is being used in 39 states, making it responsible for nearly 5 percent of U.S. total electricity generation. However, the DOE’s report states that all 50 states may soon be capable of producing wind power, allowing the U.S. to substantially increase its dependence on wind energy. Read more…

Subtle change in PA law has big potential for professional liability market

opEd-obamacareA recent bill signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will allow a group of medical professional liability insurers to convert from reciprocal exchanges, to stock companies after final approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. This change in the law will affect the future landscape of medical malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as House Bill No. 159 by several Republican members of the Pennsylvania House, the law affects several malpractice carriers that were started shortly after the last significant “medical malpractice crisis” that happened around the turn of the century. Four of the more prominent members of this “class”, Healthcare Providers Insurance Exchange (“HPIX”), Professional Casualty Association (“PCA”), Positive Physicians Insurance Exchange (“PPIE”) and Physicians’ Insurance Program Exchange (‘PIPE”) would all potentially benefit from this new law. The goal of the legislation is to allow these insurers to convert their legal status to a stock company and, as a result, potentially gain access to new capital and expand their operations. However, this all comes with certain requirements and limitations. Read more…

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