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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Visit Abex’s New Website and Enter Our ‘Name the Ostrich’ Contest

ABEX is very happy to share our fun and informative new website with you! This is an exciting new place for us to keep in touch with you and offer you regular updates on what’s new at ABEX.

We have a great way to kick-off our new website and offer you a chance to win a cool prize: BlackBerry PlayBook. How would you like to go down in history as the person who named our mascot, the ostrich? Here’s your chance. We’d like a name that’s as fun and quirky as our website, and well, as our ABEX team, of course. We’d love to see all the creative ideas out there and have some fun as we come up with a distinctive name for the ostrich.

Visit ABEX’s new website and email us or post your suggestions on our Facebook page by February 28, 2013 for your chance to win! If your suggestion is chosen, you may win a BlackBerry PlayBook. Also, everyone who submits a suggestion will be entered into a draw to receive a $25 gift certificate from Tim Horton’s. 

Click here for more information and for contest rules.


ABEX Building a House for Nicaraguans

ABEX and The Precept Group are proud to be a part of Bridges to Community Canada’s initiative to build houses for impoverished families in Nicaragua.

To build a house that is safe, dry, and secure costs just $4,000! ABEX and Precept are excited to be able to sponsor a house for a family and make their everyday struggle a little easier.

As Rick Bauman of Bridges to Community Canada reflects: “Life to a typical Nicaraguan looks like 50% unemployment, a household income of less than $500 per year, and a home that wouldn’t qualify as a tool shed in your backyard or mine! And this is representative of how 80% of the people in the world live! ‘It’s a world of opportunity, yet I’m struggling to survive.’ You won’t likely ever hear those words spoken by a Nicaraguan – at least not those I’ve met, and I’ve met a few. They tend to be gentle, dignified people who are remarkably content with their lot in life.”


Bridges to Community Canada is a nonprofit organization that has built 115 homes for impoverished families in Nicaragua over the past five years. Over the next five, they aim to raise $1,000,000 to transform a Nicaraguan community.

Right now, they are building a school in El Sasle in northern Nicaragua that currently houses 180 kids in just two rooms. But soon, the school will be finished, and they’ll start building the 40 plus houses that this community desperately needs.

For more information on how you can help, visit:


Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime

Even though businesses are increasingly collecting and saving personal information about their customers, far too many companies are ignoring cyber-liability. A poll of Canadian Business conducted by EKOS for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, found that 42% of businesses surveyed were not concerned about security breaches.

cyberriskSome businesses are trying to protect themselves, especially after seeing some very costly incidents. Examples include Best Buy, Sony, and the Bay Street law firms.

In the past, cyber criminals would focus on technology innovators such as financial institutions and larger corporations. Today, nearly every company is at risk of a cyber-security breach and it’s just a matter of time before they experience one.

A few years ago, an employee at the Canada Revenue Agency accessed 37,500 emails containing confidential financial information about ordinary Canadians and downloaded the files for her personal use. Also, dozens of other workers were discovered snooping on their ex-spouses, mothers-in-law, creditors and others. The bottom line is: no industry is immune to potential privacy breaches. They have occurred in both private and public enterprises, as well as in government agencies.

Firewalls and encryption are often not enough to protect your network from a breach. Hackers can take down a website and totally interrupt a company’s online operation.

Cyber criminal networks that use the Internet to perform their scams are finding a virtual haven in Canada. According to a study, Canada ranked as the sixth most likely country to host servers operating malicious programs in 2011, up from 13th the year before.

Many companies are just now beginning to realize the impact of increased outsourcing and social networking. For example, an employee posting something inappropriate on organization’s website can make the company a subject to copyright and intellectual property laws and taint the company’s reputation.

How does a company protect itself from cyber risks?

Most businesses readily purchase insurance coverage to protect themselves against catastrophic events such as fire, however, they neglect the possibility of losing thousands of hundreds of dollars due to risks associated with conducting business electronically, ranging from identity theft to e-business interruption. Insurance coverage for cyber-liability is starting to become more and more sophisticated as exposures are better understood, and it is predicted that it will soon become a norm.

There are insurance policies available that offer broad cyber coverage and can be customized to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes. Also, there are cyber-insurance policies that help protect businesses from a range of tech-related liabilities, such as network security liability, privacy liability, media content services liability, extortion threat etc.

In addition to obtaining cyber liability insurance, companies have to implement proactive risk management strategies to reduce potential exposures. Here are a few tips on how to reduce risks related to identity and security breaches:

  • employees and contractors should be trained to understand their responsibilities in the protection of data
  • mobile devices should be encrypted and employees should be trained on the company’s policies regarding downloading confidential information and working remotely;
  • employees should be trained on which precautions they should take when travelling with laptops, PDAs, mobile devices and other data-bearing devices.

ABEX Cyber Risk Management Program

ABEX offers Complete Cyber Risk Management Program, consisting of Cyber Insurance and The Ultimate FirewallTM (TUF).

The Ultimate FirewallTM (TUF) is a comprehensive cyber risk management program that far surpasses the basic ad hoc approach of standard network security controls and vulnerability assessment checkpoints. Working with your existing data protection scheme, the TUF program delivers a defense-in-depth security strategy.

ABEX’s Meet the Underwriter Open House a Great Success

ABEX hosted our first ever “Meet the Underwriter” open house in Kitchener on December 11th.

We talked about the idea of having an open house in great detail in November, and were considering whether holiday season would be a good time of year to host the event. We were also considering leaving it for January, when people are potentially more available, but then the weather is even less predictable than in December. In the end, we decided that Decembers was going to be it and we are very excited that it turned out to be a very successful event.

The function was a great opportunity for meeting with our brokers face to face and for sharing ideas. We all enjoyed talking with our brokers and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration in the future.

As a result of the idea sharing at the event, we are now considering doing a couple of more open houses in the future and taking them to other areas where we serve, including Toronto, London and Kingston. Even better, we are planning to develop a RIBO accredited presentation, that we could take on the road with us and share with our brokers. Stay tuned for these and more exciting things to come from ABEX in 2013.




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