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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Protecting Employees Working Abroad

World mapWith the recent terrorist attacks still fresh on everyone’s minds, the conversation around protecting employees working abroad has never been more important. And, the dangers employers must consider are numerous—from terror threats to natural disasters.

To protect workers, employers should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. Do we have an overseas travel policy in place? If so, does it include approval processes for travel, risk evaluations of the destinations being visited and a plan to track, contact and protect travellers?
  2. Are we providing our employees with security escorts and a safe means of transportation throughout the duration of their trips?
  3. Have we provided safe and protected housing for the travelling employees?
  4. Have employees been trained on what to do in the event of an emergency? Does that training include how to remove themselves from potentially dangerous situations?
  5. In addition to the above, it’s critical that employers have the proper insurance in place for their workers. Before purchasing a policy, companies should examine their businesses and personnel in order to select the right coverage options.

Often, the types of events businesses may want to plan for include kidnappings, hostage and ransom crises, assaults with weapons, extortion threats, evacuations, and medical and psychiatric care.


© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Are You Prepared for a Cyber Attack?

Cyber Attack Concept.In its annual Global Information Security Survey, Ernst & Young found that more than one-third of organizations worldwide lack confidence in their ability to detect sophisticated cyber attacks.

The survey was designed to take a closer look at some of the most important cyber security issues facing businesses, and it found that the majority of cyber attacks come from criminal syndicates and “hacktivists.”

In addition, the survey identified two major vulnerabilities that all companies face: careless or unaware employees and outdated information security controls.

To help limit these vulnerabilities, Ernst & Young suggests that businesses clearly define their cyber risks and prioritize their cyber-security investments.


© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

U.S. Officials Charge Three in Massive Cyber Fraud Case


In what’s being touted as the largest cyber fraud case ever uncovered, three suspects have been tied to an estimated eight-year hacking scheme that targeted 100 million customers of over a dozen U.S. companies.

It is believed that the hackers were involved in a variety of illegal activities, including manipulating publicly traded stocks, stealing email accounts, processing payments for pharmaceutical suppliers and running online casinos.

Initial reports suggest that the hackers were able to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co., E*Trade Financial Corp. and more by using about 200 fake identity documents, among other tactics.

The case, which is being described as a new frontier for cyber fraud, illustrates that even global companies that spend large amounts of money on cyber security aren’t immune to attacks. The accused hackers face 23 counts of fraud and other illegal activities.


© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cyber Security Budgeting for Small Businesses

Security ConceptA recent study conducted by Cisco, a multinational technology firm, found that small businesses were particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks—with 60 per cent of the surveyed Canadian companies stating that they did not have cyber security strategies in place. This fact becomes increasingly alarming when you consider that, according to some experts, cyber criminals actively target small- to medium-sized businesses.

With this in mind, it’s particularly important for small businesses to plan their cyber security budgets accordingly if they want to mitigate their risk. As a good rule of thumb, approximately 15 per cent of IT budgets should go towards cyber security.

Budgets should be made following an in-depth risk assessment and typically include the following considerations:

Preparation: When planning a cyber-security budget, consider including items for training, technology upgrades and vulnerability assessments. Having policies and procedures in place related to cyber attacks could also help you respond quickly in the event that a hacker accesses any sensitive information. In addition, implementing a security-awareness program is a good option for most employers, and consulting firms can provide assistance for those having difficulty setting up preventative measures.

Detection: Having the proper detection tools in place could make all the difference, should a cyber attack occur. In your budget, ensure that funds have been allocated for penetration testing, which will verify that any protective software you have in place is effective.

Response: Following a cyber attack, there are a number of response items to consider. In response to a cyber attack, businesses will often need to cover the cost of public relations assistance, attorney fees and forensic specialist services. When properly implemented and planned for, these items can help businesses salvage their reputations and prepare for future attacks.

In addition to budget planning, there are a number of other steps businesses can take to limit the impact of cyber attacks. For example, identifying any trends in terms of what other companies are spending on cyber security will at least provide you with a good budget standard that you can compare your own pricing to. In many cases, cyber liability insurance can protect businesses from some of the above costs, in addition to any losses sustained as a result of a cyber attack. The amount of coverage you need is usually dependent on your overall risk.


© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.



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