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Social Media Security Tips for Businesses

Social media is common tool for businesses and can be used to increase customer engagement, gain immediate market feedback, improve search engine visibility and increase sales. However, social media can create a number of security and privacy challenges for organizations and their employees.

In order to keep your business’s sensitive information safe, consider doing the following:

  1. Incorporate social media security strategies into an overall cyber security training program. Ensure that your employees are aware of your company’s overall social media strategy.
  2. Create secure passwords. Consider using numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters in your passwords. Avoid using the same password on multiple sites.
  3. Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
  4. Train employees on phishing scams and on how to protect their usernames and passwords from cyber criminals.
  5. Use lists and privacy settings. Many social networking sites allow businesses to limit social media access to certain user groups.
  6. Filter carefully. On most social networking sites, users have control over their posts but not over what others decide to share. Think carefully about the image you are trying to portray and whether other users’ postings help or hurt that image. Talk to your employees about the impact others’ postings may have on their image and how it could jeopardize their job.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Benefits of Creating Accessible Workplaces

Recruiting and retaining skilled talent can be a challenge for businesses—especially as markets are faced with an aging workforce and a lack of young talent. One way organizations can strengthen their workforce and navigate this difficult recruitment landscape is by hiring individuals with disabilities.

There are both direct and indirect benefits for businesses that establish accessible employment practices, including the following:

  • Access to a large talent pool. According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, approximately 3.8 million Canadians are affected by a disability. From a hiring perspective, this represents a major market, as those with disabilities are three times more likely to be unemployed than those without a disability.
  • Improved revenue and cost savings. Accessible employment practices have been shown to have a positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. Research has shown that companies that invest in accessible employment practices reported a number of benefits, including the following:
    • Higher retention and lower turnover
    • Improved attendance
    • Enhanced job performance and work quality
    • Better safety records
  • A positive brand image. Inclusiveness matters to consumers. As such, demonstrating that you care about diversity can improve customer loyalty and distinguish you from your competitors.

When hiring individuals with disabilities, it’s important to ensure that all of your facilities meet their unique needs. Conduct a thorough assessment of your locations and implement any changes to improve workplace accessibility.

Keep in mind that many provinces have specific requirements related to workplace accessibility. Be sure to examine these closely in order to remain compliant.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

6 Considerations When Buying Cyber Insurance

As more and more companies have experienced data breaches in recent years, the market for cyber insurance has grown exponentially. However, unlike other forms of insurance, cyber insurance is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Most cyber policies are offered a la carte, allowing policyholders to negotiate terms and conditions and purchase the coverage that fits their needs.

The level of coverage your business needs can vary depending on your range of exposure, and it’s important to work with a broker who can tailor a policy to match your business’s requirements.

The following are items to keep in mind when building the ideal coverage:

1.       Limits and sublimits

2.       Retroactive coverage

3.       Exclusions

4.       Panel provisions

5.       Consent provisions

6.       Vendor acts and omissions

Cyber insurance is a relatively new form of coverage—one that will continue to evolve alongside emerging cyber threats. As such, cyber insurance requires organizations to be proactive in assessing their risks and ensuring that their insurance coverages are in line with their specific business practices and exposures.

For more information on the items discussed above and how they may impact your policy, contact your insurance broker today.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Coverage Extensions to Enhance D&O Policies

While standard directors and officers (D&O) policies are designed to protect a wide array of risks, they have their limits. Coverage extensions are used to address these limits, fill gaps and provide organizations with additional protections outside the scope of traditional D&O agreements.

Coverage extensions solve a wide range of problems and can be continually improved to address the changing landscape of D&O liability. This Coverage Insights details a number of D&O extensions you should consider.

Advancement of Defence Costs

One extension that can prove invaluable in the event of a claim is the advancement of defence costs extension. In essence, this extension requires the insurer to forward defence costs to policyholders throughout a defined period of time.

Without this extension, an organization or its executives may be required to fund their own defence costs until an insurer can assess the claim and reimburse them. This is typically a time-consuming process and can take months or even years.

This extension is particularly important, as legal costs can get expensive, and most organizations lack the upfront resources to pay for such services. It should be noted that, if it is determined that a claim is not covered, the policyholder would be required to repay any defence cost advancements.

Retired Directors and Officers

Under many D&O policies, in order for an incident to be covered, organizations must have an active policy when a claim arises. Because some claims may take years to arise, a company’s retired executives can be left unexpectedly exposed. To make matters worse, retired directors and officers typically have no control over an organization’s insurance once they have left the organization. Accordingly, they cannot ensure their former organization will purchase the proper D&O insurance.

To remedy this issue, policyholders can protect their former directors and officers by including an extended reporting period in their D&O coverage. An extended reporting period allows organizations or retired executives to report a claim to the insurer even if the organization no longer carries an active policy.

Outside Directorship

In some cases, directors and officers serve on boards of outside organizations. This often occurs when an executive takes a leadership position for an external non-profit.

Standard D&O policies may not offer sufficient enough protection in these instances, and outside directorship coverage may be needed. This extension is particularly useful, as it ensures that executives will be covered in the event that their non-profit’s insurance is insufficient or completely exhausted.

New Subsidiaries

When an organization purchases a new subsidiary, it is possible that the executives of these acquired operations could be open to D&O exposures.

The new subsidiaries extension is meant to address this concern, automatically covering any new subsidiaries and providing them with the same protection as the parent organization.

It should be noted that coverage only applies to claims that arise following the date of an acquisition. Automatic coverage may also be subject to the size of the acquired entity, and an endorsement may be required.

Spouses, Heirs and Legal Representatives

To protect themselves in the event of a claim, some executives transfer ownership of their assets to a third party. This often includes husbands, wives or guardians.

While this might be a sound legal strategy, it can also leave these third parties open to claims. The spouses, heirs and representatives extension is designed to protect third parties and the executive’s assets.

While this extension protects a third party from the actions of an executive, it does not protect them from the consequences of their own activities.

Other Common Extensions

In addition to the extensions above, there are a number of less common, but important, extensions to be aware of. The following are just some examples:

  • Civil or bail bonds. This extension can help cover the cost of civil or bail bonds, allowing a director or officer to be released from custody.
  • Public relations expenses. Following a D&O claim, companies may have to rebuild or protect their reputation. A public relations expenses extension covers the cost of engaging a public relations firm to improve public opinion.
  • Deprivation of assets. This extension gives executives funds for housing, utilities and personal insurance services. This coverage is especially useful if an executive’s funds are frozen.
  • Extradition costs. This extension covers the defence costs associated with opposing an extradition proceeding, including any bail process and subsequent trial.
  • Joint ventures. This extension provides coverage for claims arising from joint venture operations.

For more information about these and other D&O extensions, contact your insurance broker.

©  Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

5 Types of Cyber Attacks That Threaten Small Businesses

Because news surrounding data breaches often highlight major companies like Target or Yahoo, it’s easy to think of cyber attacks as a big business problem. However, small businesses are just as much at risk and could have to front $46,000 or more per cyber security event. As such, it’s important to be aware of the following five common cyber attacks that threaten small businesses:

  1. Denial-of-service attacks (DoS). A DoS attack occurs when a cyber criminal sends a large amount of data from multiple computers in order to overwhelm your system and shut it down. This attack can result in a direct loss in revenue, as your website could be down for extended periods of time.
  2. Inside attacks. Cyber attacks don’t always come from outside sources. In some cases, a disgruntled employee who has access to your system can hijack your critical data and hold it for ransom.
  3. Malware is any malicious software that can be used to gain access to your system and cause damage. Typically, malware refers to worms, viruses and ransomware.
  4. Password attacks. Password attacks are when hackers crack your password and gain access to your system. This type of attack can be difficult to defend against because it doesn’t always require a malicious code or software.
  5. Phishing is a cyber attack in which a hacker disguises him- or herself as a trusted source in order to acquire sensitive information. This can be accomplished via email or other direct forms of online contact.

To protect themselves from all types of cyber breaches, small businesses should consider evaluating their systems for exposures on a regular basis. In addition, it is important to train workers on cyber security and ensure that antivirus and other protective measures are up to date and operational.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved



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